Nigeria’s sole representative in the 2018/19 CAF Champions League, Lobi Stars of Makurdi will on Friday regroup to begin preparation for the group stage of the competition after a five-day Christmas break.
Lobi Stars – the nominated Nigerian champions – defeated Kenyan champions Gor Mahia 2-0 last Saturday in Enugu to advance to the group stage of the Total CAF Champions League with a 3-3 aggregate score, becoming the first Nigerian side to reach that stage in three years.
The team led by head coach Solomon Ogbeide and his assistant Evans Ogenyi gave the players a five-day break to allow them celebrate the Yuletide season with their loved ones in the aftermath of their hard-earned victory over the East Africans.
The players are expected to now resume at the team’s base in Makurdi on Friday alongside some other new players signed by the team but who were yet to be registered for their continental assignments. Such players include former Enyimba star Dare Ojo and former FC Ifeanyiubah goalkeeper Charles Thambe.
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While the team will resume training on Friday, Lobi Stars will also learn who their opponents in the group stage would be on same Friday as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) holds the group stage draws at its headquarters in Cairo, Egypt. The draws for the playoff round of the Confederation Cup which has Nigerian side Enugu Rangers will also be held same day.
The group stage of the 2018/19 CAF Champions League will kick off on the second weekend of January (between 11th and 13th January), 2019.