December 2, 2017

Anaemena sees brighter prospect for Enyimba with Aigbogun

Anaemena sees brighter prospect for Enyimba with Aigbogun

Ifeanyi Anaemena. Photo credit: npfl

Defender Ifeanyi Anaemena in his fourth season with Enyimba and a second chance to play continental club football believes the return of Paul Aigbogun to manage the squad is a big boost.

Ifeanyi Anaemena (first left). Photo credit: npfl

Aigbogun, it was who guided the team to a group stage exit in the 2016 CAF Champions League before exiting the Peoples Elephant at the end of that season.

Anaemena only recently penned another two-year deal with the Peoples Elephant, making him one of the longest-serving squad members at the club.

On the return of Aigbogun, the player was quick to offer the thumbs up: “We have an advantage because it’s coach Paul who led us the last time we played at continental [level], and we got to the group stage, so definitely he is a good coach, I have to say.

“As far as the pre-season [programme] is concerned, things are going well. He’s trying to push us so things come off well. With the level of preparation, I believe we are going to make a mark on the continent.”

Even with a place on the continent secured, albeit in the Confederation Cup, Anaemena is clearly not resting on his laurels. That last sojourn, back in 2016, saw the team come through a gruelling round of qualifiers to book a place in the Champions League group stage, an experience that has taught the defender a thing or two about what it takes to prosper in CAF competition.

“Playing on the continent, you need to have quality players, and you need a positive mindset — you are not playing in the local league, so you will meet ‘grade A’ players just like you. You need to have everything in place to get it right,” he explained.

To that end, the team were sequestered away in Ado-Ekiti, building fitness and perfecting strategy for a challenge on three fronts for three weeks, and will compete in two pre-season tournaments starting this weekend in Kano. As far as Anaemena is concerned, the squad are now at a good level following a number of additions, and he believes there is an ace in the hole in Aigbogun, back for a third stint with the club.

“The last four seasons have been great for me,” his club’s media channel quoted him to have said.

“I lifted the NPFL title in 2015, which was my very first year, and therefore I was able to play in the CAF Champions League. For me, that was an achievement beyond my expectations.

“I believe I still have a long way to go.”