‘President cup’ gets underway
The wait is finally over as the 2018 Nigerian Super League gets underway today. The Nigerian Hockey Federation announced earlier this month that this year’s edition will be known as ‘The President Cup’.
Sixteen clubs will take to the pitch; 8 male and 8 female teams, to battle for the ultimate – a glittering trophy as well as a ticket to represent the Country in Africa. With Nigeria set to host this year’s ACCC, it will be an advantage to Nigerian clubs with the extensive home support hence an extra boost to win the Presidents Cup.
After storming fellow West African nation, Ghana earlier this year at the 2017 ACCC, Niger Flickers will start their title defense against Delta Force tomorrow at the National stadium, Abuja. The defending champions face a stern test in their opening game after losing key players to other clubs.
Friends become enemies as these two meet. Otuya Godwin, Wilson Bernard, Izang Marcus and Nzete Endurance will play against their former club for the first time after switching to Delta Force earlier this year. However, the holders can still rely on the services of Maraz Junior, the league’s best player for the past two seasons.
Another battle in this game will be between Nzete Endurance and Maraz Junior (former teammates); the latter beating the former to the best player accolade for last year. These two teams are tipped to make it to the final.
The two sides last met in 2013 with Niger Flickers 2-1 victors over Delta Force. Repeat or revenge??
In other matches for the men’s division, 2017 runners-up, Police Machine will begin the league as they face sister club IGP Flickers. Kada stars face a stern opposition in Stallions while Plateau rollers lock horns with Nasarawa Flickers.
In the women’s division, defending champions Kada Queen’s start their campaign against newcomers Bauchi babes. The holders will seek to make another appearance at the continental stage and defend their trophy but will face a difficult test against a formidable Bauchi babes who will want to make a mark as debutants.
Last year’s losing finalist, Yobe queens will also play newcomers Delta queens in their opening game. The runners-up know the difficulty in facing a newcomer but will dwell on their experiences in playing the league for a while now.
Heartland IMO and Benue Amazons also face off with Plateau queens and River angels battling in the last match of day.