Friday, July 10, 2009

3SC Will Add Glamour To NPL - Howard

Head coach of newly-promoted Premier League side, Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC), Franklin Howard, is confident that the Ibadan club would bring exciting moments to the league when it kicks off next season.
Howard explained that as one of the traditional clubs in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) that has a rich record having won the league title five times in the past, the side is set to add charm to a championship that has been shunned over the years by a larger population of the country that follow football.
Shooting Stars won the league before its title changed to the Premier League in 1976, 1980, 1983, 1995 and 1998.
The former Union Bank coach further said he knows that a number of followers in the Nigerian league would be looking forward to matches involving Shooting Stars and other traditional clubs such as Enugu Rangers and Heartland Football Club (formerly Iwuanyanwu Nationale).
“The return of Shooting Stars to the Premier League will be a good development for the competition because I am sure that we will bring back passion to the game in Nigeria and at the same time, we will be able to make football supporters come back to the stadium. We are a club with a tradition and that’s why we will bring back the lost glamour to the Premier League.
“I know some fans would already be looking forward to some of our matches ahead of next season. For example, myself I will be looking forward to playing against other traditional clubs such as Rangers and Heartland, who were formerly known as Iwuanyanwu Nationale. Apart from their match, we will be looking forward to the stiff rivalry with Gateway Football Club, because the match is always keenly contested among the players,” he said.
The former Nigeria international said Shooting Stars is not in the Premier League to complete the number, as it would compete for the title as well.
Howard was also full of praise for the Shooting Stars’ management led by its general manager, Mutiu Adepoju.
He said without the total support of Adepoju and other members of the management board of the Oluyole Warriors, it would have been difficult for the club to win promotion to the Premier League.
Howard also thanked the Shooting Stars’ fans for their patience throughout last season especially when there were some tensed moments.
He also heaped plaudits on the fans for conducting themselves in a civilised manner during the home games of Shooting Stars and called for such behaviour when the club begins its campaign in the Premier League next season.
“It was a good season for us because we set for ourselves a target of winning promotion to the Premier League and thank God we achieved that. I am really grateful to the players and the management for the roles they played in making sure that we get promoted to the Premier League. The fans also did well last season by supporting us even when the going was tough at some point during last season,” he said.

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