A parlance that is thrown every where as kids do pebbles on a playground is “There is no place like home”.
Maybe it’s the food, the hospitality or the warmth. Home is always where the heart is.
Which is quite the word, given another saying, “a prophet isn’t appreciated in his own country”. Paradoxical, right?
However, we appreciate our prophets, and in this 4-part series, we look at players whom we feel have been the best for their teams. Statistics are put into account but only factor with game influences and contributions ranking highly in priority, as well as individual ability.
Chinedu “Great Wall”Anozie, Goalkeeper
The Number: 10 Clean Sheets (Most in the League)
“In a team built to attack, Anozie stands out with immense coordination from back to front, boasting high concentration levels in a league where attack swiftly turns into defence”
Alisson Becker and Chinedu Anozie don’t just have As starting their names, both are commanding goalkeepers leading title charges for their respective teams.
Both have kept double digit clean sheets and when they don’t tend the goal, there seems to be a vortex in between the sticks.
His command of area stands him out amongst the league goalkeepers, and it is that facet that has helped him erect the mighty wall of Plateau in between the white sticks.
Cyril “Controller”Olisema, Midfielder
The Number: 1 Goal, 10 assists (Most in the League).
“In a team arrayed with so many talents like blossoms in a field, it’s difficult to pick an outstanding player so far, however Cyril Olisema has shown in the league that he is worthy of the prize”
One of a few gifted midfielders. Olisema has the eye of an eagle with a pass. His body oozes football and is so good he changes the course of games with a pass.
He always ensures his teammates are always on the same wavelength. A job made easy by Farouk Mohammed and Austin Oladapo, two players who have staked a claim for this accolade as well.
Enugu Rangers Int’l
Ibrahim “Quick feet”Olawoyin, Forward
The Number: 5 Goals, 3 assists
“His ability to change the direction of a game in a heartbeat stands him out from his mates”
Israel Abia may be banging the goals, but the forward misses out narrowly to his teammate on the basis of gift. Of Abia’s 5 goals in a Rangers shirt, Olawoyin has always been involved one-three passes away from the goal. It’s not far-fetched.
The Lagos bred playmaker is always seeing things his teammates don’t and has an uncanny ability of swinging game directions and providing defense splitting passes.
Should the Flying Antelopes achieve continental status, it would be him ensuring Abia gets the service he needs to achieve it.
Ndifreke “Goalismo” Effiong, Forward
The Number: 11 Goals (Second Most in the League)
“The name Ndifreke strikes fear in the defender’s heart”
The sight of Effiong bearing in on goal would only mean one thing for a goalkeeper – Nightmares.
Built like a tank, the Dream team VII forward often seems like a raging bull knocking off every obstacle in its way, but is actually the matador that cages the bull.
Effiong in full flow is beautiful music, hitting all the right notes. The NPFL must enjoy the sounds before greener pastures beckon.
Tasiu “Bomber” Lawal, Wide Forward
The Number: 8 Goals, 1 assist (Most Goals for his Club)
“Just like Kanu in the nineties, Tasiu is the conman that beats defenders with that bit of trickery, hence drawing fouls in the penalty box”.
If this was a quarterly selection, Tasiu won’t probably make the cut. The winger’s form somewhat tailed off as we headed into the spring, usurped by Joseph Atule.
There was a time, once you heard Katsina United won, you were sure Tasiu Lawal had scored.
The fleet footed winger likes to commit his opponents and his fleet “footedness” is why he wins those penalties. An assured taker from the spot,
Tasiu has missed just once. A winger with end product.