Nigerian champions, Plateau United, are hopeful of a good outing as they kick-start their continental cup campaign against Eding Sport of Cameroon in one of this weekend’s Total CAF Champions League preliminary round-first leg fixtures.
Previously known as Nigeria Standard FC, the Jos-based club in North Central Nigeria, had not won the league title since its formation in 1975 and the closest they got was second behind Iwuayanwu Nationale (now Heartland FC) at the birth of Nigeria Professional League in 1990.
But last September, Plateau United, finally won their Holy Grail under the guidance of former Nigerian international, Kennedy Boboye; that gave them a return to the continent since 2000 when they were narrowly edged out on the away-goal rule by Etoile du Congo in the first round of the defunct CAF Cup Winners’ Cup.
The 44-year-old Boboye, who masterminded Plateau’s title success in only his first season, said the club has acquired much experience coupled with strength in depth, and are desirous of making a great impact on the continent.
“We won the league last year by dint of hard work, and the players played to instructions,” Boboye said.
“This year, we have been working hard and it is also good that the season started early enough which has given us good match practice ahead of our Total CAF Champions
Elsewhere, Nigeria’s other representative in the premier continental club championship, Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) FC are equally upbeat despite travelling to Bamako as guest of AS Real.
The ‘Olukoya’ Boys as the team is fondly refereed to, remarkably claimed second spot behind Plateau but Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu believes they are well equipped on their debut at the continental level.
“I believe we are going to do our best in the Total CAF Champions League as we usually do in all that concerns us and we hope God crowns our little effort with his unconditional favour and love for our team,” stated Ilechukwu.