As the kick-off date of the Nigeria Women Football League edges closer, www.aclsports.com takes a look at some of the clubs who would be competing in the top flight division of the 2018 women’s league.
Of the 16 teams that would be playing in the league this season, 4 of them namely: FC Robo (Lagos), Sunshine Queens (Ondo), Jokodolu Babes (Oyo) and Osun Babes (Osun); would be representing the South West region.
FC Robo is a privately owned professional football club founded in 1999 by Osahon Emmanuel Orobosa who also doubles as the team manager.
The 2014 Lagos FA Cup winners play their home games at the Legacy turf of the National Stadium, Surulere and are famous for producing some of the accomplished and rising female football stars in Nigeria and Africa in the last decade.
Top of this list is: BBC and three-time African footballer of the year, Asisat Oshoala, Super Falcons player, Esther Sunday, Rasheedat Ajibade who won bronze at the WAFU Cup and Gift Monday who also got a call-up to camp but unfortunately didn’t make the final team to Ivory Coast. These players are all products of the FC Robo youth program.
Last season, the club made the headlines for the right reasons thanks to the stellar performance of Ajibade who won the AITEO/NFF female young player award, the NWFL player of the season and highest goalscorer awards.
The Ajibade and FC Robo kick-off their league campaign on 7th of April, on the road against reigning Champions, Nasarawa Amazons at the Lafia Township Stadium.
Sunshine Queens FC.
Founded in 1995, Sunshine Queens FC were formerly known as Sunshine Mermaids until recently when the club changed the inscription on her logo to ‘Betty Babes.’ This might be linked to the announcement of the First Lady of Ondo State, Arabirin Betty Akeredolu as the Grand Matron of the club.
It is a state owned female professional football club based in Ondo state and with their home ground at the 15,000 capacity Akure Township Stadium.
The team is coached by Wemimo Matthew who was recently appointed as Super Falcons assistant coach. Also worthy of note is the fact that coach Wemimo led two of the clubs brightest stars, Ihuoma Onyebuchi Goodness and Opeyemi Aiyeniberun to Cote D’Ivoire for the WAFU Cup where they returned with bronze medal.
The 2015 Women’s Federation Cup winners start their 2018 NWFL campaign at home against Abia Angels on the 11th of April.
Recent additions to the squad ahead of the new season includes: former Abia Angels defender, Aaron Nankyer Grace; former Delta Queens goalkeeper, Rita Akarekor and FC Robo goalkeeper, Unamba Augustine.
Jokodolu Babes FC.
Founded by retired Hon. Mulikat Akande Adeola, Jokodolu Babes FC of Oyo State will be making their debut in the NWFL this season. Their first game in the top flight will be against Adamawa Queens FC at the Soun Township Stadium in Ogbomosho.
Also, new manager, Hammed Mohammed would be hoping that the team can do exploits in her debut season in a fiercely contested league.
Osun Babes FC.
Osun Babes FC was founded as Comfort Queens FC. in 1995, disbanded in 2000 and rejuvenated by Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola in 2004.
Earlier in the year, it was reported by the news agency of Nigeria that the Kehinde Johnson led team fired 10 players and retained 18 who were eventually joined by new recruits ahead of the new season. Some of the teams’ famous ex-players who have gone on to bigger things include Super Falcons star player, Onome Ebi; Ayisat Yusuf etc to mention a few.
The team who play their home games at the Oshogbo Stadium kick-off their 2018 league campaign away to the league’s most successful side, Pelican Stars of Calabar; with the hope that the team can cause an upset.