Whyte Ogbonda is not your ordinary sweat merchant. Even among his colleagues, it is widely acknowledged that the former tactician of Ibom Angels FC of Uyo knows his onions, and more.

On Saturday, Ogbonda will be gunning for his first National Cup title as head coach, having guided unfancied Ibom Angels to runners-up position in 2017 and 2018. On both occasions, they lost to Rivers Angels. The strategist has tasted victory previously, albeit as assistant coach, when Rivers Angels won the trophy in 2014.

“Yes, Rivers Angels have always reached the women’s final of the Cup, and here we are again. Our target is to lift the trophy and bring it back to Rivers State, having lost the opportunity to win the league. As a team, we are indebted to Rivers State government to bring back the trophy. That is the only way we can show appreciation for the government’s huge investment in the team.”

Ogbonda insists that his girls, who include in their ranks Nigeria U20 girls’ forward Blessing Okpe and Flamingos’ forward Peace Effiong, will not underrate Naija Ratels, but will go all out to accomplish victory.

The women’s final will kick off at 1pm on Saturday at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, with the men’s final to commence at 4pm.

PHOTO: Rivers Angels in action

…Olowookere believes it is Naija Ratels’ year and nothing can stop it!

World Cup bronze medal-winning strategist, Bankole Olowookere is entertaining no fear ahead of Saturday’s women’s final of the President Federation Cup against eight-time champions Rivers Angels in Lagos.

“We thank God for taking us this far in the competition. During the league’s regular season, we did not quite meet up with our own expectations. However, our target at the beginning of the season also included doing well in the Cup, and now we are in the final.

“For sure, we are the distinct underdogs against Rivers Angels that have won this trophy eight times before now. But no team is unbeatable. We have a plan and a strategy to emerge champions on Saturday. We want to do this for our proprietor and for our supporters who have been with us through victory and defeat, through thick and thin. I can assure you that Naija Ratels are determined to make history.”

Olowookere led the Nigeria U17 girls, Flamingos, to win the bronze medals for the first time at the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in India two years ago. He has also now qualified the team for this year’s finals to be staged in the Dominican Republic.

Naija Ratels is the first club from Abuja in 24 years to reach the women’s final of the Cup. In 2000, FCT Queens lost to the same Rivers Angels in the final.

PHOTO: Ratels giving their customary power salute before a game.

NFF Media
Author: NFF Media

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