Ambitious Abia Warriors became the first of the four finalists in the 2024 President Federation Cup grand finale to arrive in Lagos and Coach Bethel Orji has no doubt that his Umuahia giants will come good on Saturday at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena.

“We are here and we’re highly motivated. We are all elated. I thank God for the turnaround in the fortunes of the team, and I am delighted to be playing my first Cup final as a coach,” Orji told in Lagos on Wednesday.

A great player and former Cup winner himself, Bethel Orji will be banking on the precision of forwards Samson Obi and Sunday Megwo when Abia Warriors confront the two-time champions at the Lagos Waterfront on Saturday evening.

“We are prepared for the game, physically, mentally and psychologically. The players are in high spirits; they are raring to go.”

Abia Warriors reached the men’s final of the President Federation Cup four days after ensuring they will play in the Nigeria Premier Football League for the 12th consecutive season, come next season.

PHOTO: Abia Warriors in action in this year’s President Federation Cup.

…Aliyu Zubairu banks on hard work to give El-Kanemi Warriors the day

Technical Adviser Aliyu Zubairu has credited hard work for his team’s progress into the men’s final of this year’s President Federation Cup, and believes the same virtue will see the Maiduguri landlords pick up their third Nigeria Cup title in Lagos on Saturday.

“Hard work has been our mainstay. Everyone works for the other, including the players on the pitch. It was a tough league season, and our real objective at the beginning of the season was to gain promotion back to the NPFL. However, after the Round of 16, we suddenly realized that with more hard work, we could go all the way to the final.

“I commend the players for not only ensuring promotion back to the top flight, but also reaching the President Federation Cup final. Yet, it is not over until it is over. We are here and we are determined to wrest the title. We have had some days to rest and we are going to work hard to deliver the trophy to our number one supporter, Governor Babagana Umaru Zulum.”

Founded in the late mid-1980s, by the football-passionate then military governor of Borno State, Col. Abdulmumini Aminu (who would later serve as Chairman of then NFA between 1996 and 1999), El-Kanemi Warriors won their first Nigeria Cup in 1991, when they defeated Kano Pillars 3-2 in the first-ever all-northern final at the National Stadium, Surulere. The following year, the Warriors successfully defended their title when they pipped Stationery Stores 1-0 at the Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi.

In their third final in 2001, they lost 0-1 to Dolphin of Port Harcourt at the National Stadium, Surulere.

PHOTO: El-Kanemi Warriors’ forward Zayyad Musa in action against Kebbi United in the semi-finals.

NFF Media
Author: NFF Media

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