Despite recording three wins and two draws in five pre-season friendly matches played so far ahead of the resumption of the2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League season, Akwa United new head coach John Obuh says his team still needs a little more time to blend into a formidable squad that can stage a serious title challenge when the league kicks off later this month.
Akwa United began their pre-season preparations with a 1-0 win over Warri Wolves at the Krisdera Hotel Stadium in Omoku, Rivers State where they are camping. Last season’s joint top scorer Mfon Udoh scored the only goal in the first half of the game.
The Promise Keepers then travelled to Okigwe and were forced to a goalless draw by their hosts, Heartland FC at Okigwe stadium. Akwa United on Saturday 31st August , 2019, beat Right-To-Win Football Academy of Umuahia 4-2 at Krisdera stadium in Omoku with goals from Ocheme Edoh, Dare Ojo (2) and Seun Paul to secure the big win.
Coach John Obuh’s team then played a barren draw with CAF Champions League campaigners Enyimba International on Sunday, 1st September, 2019 at the Enyimba Stadium in Aba. Before goals from Ubong Friday and Aniekeme Asuquo helped the Promise Keepers to defeat Morkuta Stars FC of Owerri 2-0 at Krisdera stadium in Omoku on Monday 2nd September, 2019.
But despite his team’s brilliant performances in the five pre-season games, Coach John Obuh says although the technical crew has put in a lot of work in the team, more work will still be done in order to get the team fully prepared for the new season.
‘’I am impressed with the team I have right now, but we can’t say that we have reached where we would love to be ahead of the new season, considering the fact that we have trained together as a team for only two weeks.
‘’According to the league organizers, the season will kick off on 22nd September, and that is exactly three weeks from now, so we still need to do a little more work. We will continue to engage in more quality friendly games so we can fully assess the fitness level of the team, as well as the blend and understanding we need. From the five games we have played so far, we will have to pay more attention to our finishing, keeping possession and increasing our speed as we contiune to prepare.
‘’Hopefully, after a few more test games and the lessons we will get from them, we will have a clear picture of our team for the upcoming season’’.
Akwa United resume preparations for the new season on August 19th and after one week training at the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly pitch in Uyo, the team later moved to Omoku in Rivers State on the 25th August where they have been camping for pre-season programmes.