By Kayode Ogundare in Ibadan:
Head coach of Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan, Edith Agoye has revealed that last season’s revelation and CHAN Eagles forward Sunday Faleye has been included in the squad to prosecute the club’s campaign in the second-tier Nationwide National League but that it is up to the management of the team and the player’s agents to agree on whether he’ll play for the team or move elsewhere this season.
Faleye, who was one of the few bright lights as the Home-Based Eagles finished runners-up to host country Morocco at the African Nations Championship (CHAN), has been the subject of intense transfer speculations with reports linking him with a number of teams in the Nigerian Professional Football League as well as a possible move abroad.
“I, as the head coach of 3SC, included Sunday Faleye in my list of players that we intend to register for the NNL this season but the decision as to whether he stays or not will be taken by the management after due consultations with the player’s representatives. So, for now, he’s still our player,” Agoye began in an exclusive interview with completesportsnigeria.com
Coach Agoye also restated his team’s determination to make a swift return to the Nigerian Professional Football League after the club was relegated to the second-tier of Nigerian football at the end of last season.
The former youth international expressed satisfaction at the level of preparation of his team and their readiness to overcome all challenges to return to the topflight.
“3SC are a very big side and we belong in the Premier League among the country’s best teams. It was painful that we got relegated last season so we took a look at what went wrong last season. There was reorganisation both in playing personnel and among the backroom staff and I can say confidently that we are ready for the season. As a matter of fact, we were ready a month ago but the date was shifted so we have been using the opportunity to perfect our strategies.”
Asked for specifics of what the club has done to prepare for the season, Agoye informed CSN that some players were released and new ones recruited to beef up the team while t he coaching crew has worked hard to introduce a winning mentality in the players.
He said: “We are looking to have a very lean but effective side so we retained just 15 players from last season and added 12 new players after critically reviewing our areas of strength and weaknesses. Secondly, we started preparations early, specifically since November 1, 2017 so that gave us an headstart over other teams in terms of being able to help the players grab the philosophy of the team. The players have responded to both the tactical and physical instructions and we are pleased with the outcome so far. We have played some 29 friendly games so far against Academies and also against NNL sides like Remo Stars, Ikorodu United, Osun United which are some of the teams we would be facing in the League. So far we have lost only one in and drawn four of those games which is a good sign but we are still aiming to get better.”
Agoye refused to pick a particular club which could pose a threat to 3SC’s hopes of promotion at the end of the season but insisted all the teams are potentially worthy of booking the ticket to the topflight.
“I’m not sure this is about 3SC and which other team will fight for the ticket. I think each team is a potential champion and they will all come with different threat and challenges. All we need to do is to put ourselves in a strong position to nick the ticket at the end of the season and thats why we are preparing very seriously,” he concluded.