Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) champions Enyimba on Monday commenced late preparations for the 2023/2024 CAF Champions League preliminary round clash with Al Ahly Benghazi of Libya, www.ACLSports.com reports.
Almost three weeks after the team embarked on a hard earned off season break, players of the People’s Elephant eventually returned to pre-season on Monday in spite of the indebtedness of the Abia State government to the players.
Enyimba FC, a two-time CAF Champions League winners were last week drawn against Al Ahly Benghazi on their return to the Champions League after a three-year absence courtesy of their league title exploit last term.
What is this I’m hearing from Aba, home of the Nigerian champions Enyimba?— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) July 26, 2023
No money gini? With virtually three weeks to their CAF Champions League game. I need to write that article now. pic.twitter.com/ayLgNCP654
Preparations for the game have however been hampered as players stayed back home, awaiting payment of their three to four months salary arrears but nothing was forth-coming until the management paid the players a one-off loan of N200,000 each to enable them return from their bases.
ACLSports.com can now report that the team had their first training sessions at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba on Monday under the watchful eyes of team’s head coach Finidi George and his assistant Yemi Olanrewaju Yema.
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FEAR ENYIMBA!— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) July 29, 2023
Despite being cash-trapped at the moment, Enyimba’s front four ahead of their African Football League (AFL) and CAF Champions League campaign looks frightening.
Joseph Atule is very close to being sealed!
Atule – Okereke – Okachi – Awazie
The club’s newly signed players also joined in Monday’s (morning and evening) sessions. Attackers Anthony Okachi, George Owen and Joseph Atule all participated in the sessions which was accompanied by a refreshing evening shower at the Enyimba city.
With the engagements against Al Ahly Benghazi just over two weeks away, the Finidi George-led technical crew are determined to make up for lost time occasioned by the late preparations and get the team ready for what promises to be a crunchy two-legged encounter with the Libyans.
Enyimba will face the future without some of the players that won the league with them last term including goalkeeper and captain John Noble, defender Adekunle Adeleke, midfielder Fatai Abdullahi and last season’s topscorer Emeka Obioma.