On the 11th of June, 2023, the Nigeria Premier Football League for the 2022/23 season climaxed with Enyimba FC of Aba winning a record ninth league title.
While the People’s Elephant also picked up a CAF Champions League ticket alongside Remo Stars with Rivers Utd gaining an entrance into the CAF Confederation Cup, joined by Bendel Insurance, teams are required to beef up their squad in the transfer window, which officially opens on the 1st of July and ends 1st of September, for the new 2023/24 season.
For the continental teams, their business is expected to come in fast as compared to the other teams, who could still bid their time because the NPFL is only tentatively billed to start on the 26/27th of August, 2023
It’s to my right to start with what has now been regarded as a managerial merry-go-round in the league.
NPFL Transfer: FATAI OSHO TO Akwa Utd
Fatai Osho will become the new manager of Akwa United following the expiration of Deji Ayeni’s contract.
Osho signed a one-year renewable deal in Uyo and expected to earn a monthly salary in the region of 2m naira.
VERDICT: Having been at the helms of affairs for Remo Stars, Enyimba as an assistant coach and head coach, then another assistant coach stint at Rivers Utd, Fatai Osho comes to Uyo with a rich CV and a brand of football known as SugarBall.
One major factor that is expected to work for Osho is a good working environment in Uyo as the Promise Keepers boast of the best NPFL stadium and a good training facility with the club’s management led by Paul Bassey, regarded as one of the best to work with in Nigeria.
If Osho gets his desired players during the transfer window, the verdict is that he will make Akwa Utd title challengers again.
ABUBAKAR BALA TO LOBI STARS
Coach Abubakar Bala will join Lobi Stars as the new head coach on a two-year deal.
He is expected in Markurdi on Friday to begin his role after leaving Niger Tornadoes on mutual consent.
VERDICT: Despite finishing 2nd behind Rivers United in Group B of the regular season, Lobi Stars finished bottom of the NPFL Super Six championship playoff in Lagos.
The management has now decided that Coach Babaganaru would not continue as a gaffer, thereby bringing in Coach Bala, who guided the Ikon Allah boys to a runners-up finish in the FA Cup after losing to Akwa United and losing in the preliminary stage of the CAF Confederation Cup to Santoba FC after playing a 3-3 draw in the second leg of the competition in Guinea, losing 5-4 on aggregate seasons back.
If Lobi Stars can keep their prized asset in Joseph Atule and fortify the squad, Coach Bala is expected to make Lobi Stars rub shoulders with the big boys, and a Top 10 finish won’t be far-fetched.
FIDELIS ILECHUKWU TO RANGERS INTL
Talks are still ongoing for the former MFM FC and Plateau Utd boss to take over the reins in Enugu after Rangers decided not to renew the contract of Abdul Maikaba.
Sources also reveal that if a staggering offer comes in from Plateau Utd, Fidelis is willing to remain in Jos.
DEJI AYENI TO PLATEAU UNITED
Sources continue to link the former Sunshine Stars and Akwa United handler to Plateau United’s soon-to-be vacant job.
As it stands, it appears no concrete talks on that front but just interest with Ayeni holidaying presently in Ilorin.
NPFL Transfer: WHAT IS NEXT FOR ABDUL MAIKABA?
Following the Federation Cup defeat to Bendel Insurance, Coach Abdul Maikaba managed his last game for the Enugu side after two years at the club.
The performance during the regular season was one to forget. With no Super Six qualification earned quickly, the management decided they won’t go into the new season with Abdul.
The coach has decided to take a break from football unless clubs show interest in him.
How about the movement of players?
Next week in the NPFL Transfer mailbag, we will touch on the movement of players across the league. Until then, keep supporting the NPFL.