Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Garba Lawal Joins Lobi Stars

Former Super Eagles’ midfielder, Garba Lawal, has decided to come out of retirement to sign for Globacom Premier League side, Lobi Stars, in the new season expected to kick off on September 19.
Vice chairman of the Premier League outfit, Dominic Iorfa, confirmed that the deal to lure the player out of retirement was concluded last week in Makurdi though he refused to give further details of the contractual terms.
“Yes, I can tell you that he (Lawal) has joined us for the coming season in the capacity of a player-coach,” offered Iorfa, who is a board member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
The former Nigerian international was introduced to other members of the club last week in Makurdi and he is expected to work with Bulgarian coach, Mitko Dobrev, who was a coach with Heartland Football Club last season before his contract was terminated for anti-club activities.
Naijaligue.blogspot.com discovered that Lawal, 35, signed a year contract with the Globacom Premier League side while his salary is rumoured to be in the region of between N400,000 and N500,000 monthly.
It was learnt that negotiations between Lawal’s representative and Lobi Stars began immediately after the 2008/2009 season ended on June 14 in which the Makurdi side escaped relegation.
But Iorfa explained that the club decided to sign Lawal despite having retired from competitive football to add experience to Lobi Stars ahead of the new campaign.
He believes that the former Roda JC Kerkrade midfielder would add quality to Lobi Stars’ backroom staff and at the same time, on the pitch when his services are needed.
“For us, we want to bring in as many good players and coaches as possible. Garba Lawal is one of them and we are happy that he agreed to join us for the new season. As a very experienced player, we believe that his attitude on the pitch and off the pitch would rub off on the younger players at the club. One of the roles we expect him to play is that of a role model to the players,” he said.
Lawal has represented Nigeria at two editions of the FIFA World Cup in 1998 and 2002 and has also won a gold medal at the Olympics in 1996 with the Under-23 national team.
The 35-year-old’s last professional contract was with Chinese club, Changsha Ginde, two years ago.
Iorfa is also confident that Lobi Stars would be one of the sides to compete for the title in the top-flight division.

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