By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Former Dolphins FC (now Rivers United) striker Victor Ezeji has exhaustively handed a blueprint to Plateau United, MFM and his former club Enyimba on how to have a successful campaign in the CAF club competitions next season, Completesportsnigeria.com reports..
The 2016/2017 Nigeria Professional Football League campaign ended on Saturday evening with the aforementioned clubs finishing in the top four positions and will represent Nigeria in the continent next season.
Plateau United defeated former champions Enugu Rangers 2-0, MFM lost 2-1 away to El Kanemi Warriors, Enyimba pipped Katsina United 1-0 while Akwa United defeated Kano Pillars 3-0 on the last day of the season.
Plateau United (champions with 66 points) and MFM (runners up with 62 points) will represent Nigeria at the CAF Champions League while Ezeji’s former club, Enyimba, settle for the CAF Confederation Cup after finishing in third place in the table with 61 points.
“Firstly, they have to keep 80 percent of the players that won them the ticket to the competition and bring in very few where they know they had issues this past season,” Ezeji told Completesportsnigeria.com.
“They also have to start preparing early enough to blend with the new arrivals, set massive target for themselves and be ready to take each game at a time.
“The clubs need to get very current consultants to help advice the team, and referees in CAF to help them with very current rules of the game because there are always slight adjustments to the rules as most of their players may not have played in the continent.”
Ezeji also stated that the welfare of the players must be of paramount importance to the clubs’ owners.
“Owners of the clubs should also be ready to motivate the players too,’ he reiterated.
“Qualifying for the continent is not enough, they should make very great impact because it’s over 13 years now since a Nigerian club won a continental trophy,” the legendary league icon stressed.
Ezeji won the Nigeria Professional Football League title with (former) Dolphins in 2004 as well as three FA Cup titles in 2004, 2006 and 2007
The onetime Club Africain of Tunisia star also won the Nigerian League title, a CAF Champions league title and a CAF Super Cup title with Enyimba.