Technical Adviser of Rangers International Football Club of Enugu, Imama Amapakabo, has lauded the commitment of his players leading to its 2-1 win over Nasarawa Utd FC under flood-lit Enugu Stadium on Friday.
Amapakabo told journalists on Saturday in Enugu that he was happy with the outcome of the match which favoured his team that was not used to playing under floodlights.
“I am so happy that the players were able to play under floodlight which is novel to most of them.
“This is despite the fact that many of them had not played under such condition before but they only practised under it two days to the match.
“This shows that the players are professionals and are ready to end the club’s years of not winning trophies in the league, “ he said.
Amapakabo, however, admitted that his players made some mistakes which the visiting team could have capitalised upon to turn the table against his boys.
“We, the technical crew, realised that we still have a lot to do after watching the team play under floodlights.
“How I wish the state government and well-to-do citizens of the state can provide floodlight at our stadia for our boys to train at night as we target continental competitions next season.
“If such helps come, playing at night will not be a new thing to my boys when they will be facing the North African teams.
“I could recall that Enyimba FC was disgraced by the North African teams in 2002 because it was not used to playing under floodlight not until after former Gov. Orji Uzor Kalu of Abia came to its aid with opportunities to train under floodlights.
“The people’s elephant reaped the dividends of Kalu’s initiative in 2003 and 2004 when they won the competition back to back from the North African clubs,“ he said.
“Enyimba was able to survive Etoile du Sahel in Tunis because its players had acquired the experience of playing at night. Despite that, Etoile du Sahel still gave the team a run for its money.
“Playing at night under floodlights is one of the major advantages North African clubs have over us, “ Amapakabo said.
He urged the League Management Company (LMC) to sustain this idea of encouraging players to play under floodlights to cut the advantage other countries’ teams playing under floodlight have over Nigerian clubs.
Also, Foster Chime, Rangers Public Relations Officer (PRO), said the players were mindful that Nasarawa Utd was a strong team and put in their best.
“Playing Nasarawa Utd at night was not an easy game and beside, they are one of the country’s representatives in this year’s continental competitions.
“The players only trained under floodlights for two days before this match and they were able to defeat Nasarawa Utd to get the needed three points, I am happy, “he said. (NAN)