The Athletic Daily

NPFL: Which team first comes to mind + football podcast

Enyimba - NPFL
Photo Credit: Modzero

It’s Saturday. Another weekend, bringing to an end a week that came with positive news in the world of football, albeit not in the NPFL, yet.

Yesterday, we had our first-ever podcast, it was supposed to be posted earlier but due to some technical delays and making sure we had a concrete agreement with the hosting website, Acast, it was delayed till late in the evening.

The recording was done on Thursday, which I was joined by NPFL football expert, Mmenyeneabasi Akpan. We discussed the league, leaders Plateau United, Enyimba and other issues in the domestic football. As expected, it was the first edition and may have been a little underwhelming, not going as planned but we are grateful for the effort.

If you haven’t listened, the link is here. Just give it a try, next week Friday, another episode will be here for your listening pleasure.


Let’s look at one of the things we discussed on the podcast yesterday, every league is identified with the teams who have won titles, represent the league at the continental level and will also be in contention to win the championship every season.

The English Premier League were known with the traditional big four (Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal), but that has been extended because teams like Manchester City, Tottenham and recently, Leicester City have all broken into the ranks.

La Liga is Barcelona and Real Madrid; German Bundesliga is Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund; Italian Serie A is Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan; while in the French Ligue 1 is PSG.

Even in Africa, mention the Egyptian Premier League, the team that will jump into your mind is Al Ahly, Tunisia is Esperance, Morocco is Rabat Casablanca, DR Congo is TP Mazambe, South Africa is Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs and many other top leagues.

Enyimba is the most dominant team in the NPFL, not just for winning the league title more than any other club, they have won the CAF Champions League twice, CAF Super Cup and have a reputation of a big club.

We have historic clubs in Nigeria, the days of Iwanyanwu Nationale (Heartland), Shooting Stars, Enugu Rangers, Bendel Insurance, Kano Pillars and others. The People’s Elephant have won the league 8 times since winning their first title in 2001 and has arguably always a step ahead of every other team.

Kano Pillars also dominated the league in 2012, 2013, 2014 seasons after winning their first title in 2008. Bayelsa United won the league in 2009, Dolphins were champions in 2004 and 2011, Julius Berger in 2000, Ocean Boys in 2006, Enugu Rangers in 2016, Plateau United in 2017, the 2018 league season was suspended after just 24 matches with leaders Lobi Stars declared champions.

Since the year 2000 till date, Enyimba has won the championship eight times in 20 years. To me, that sets them apart from every other team. The nature of competition in the league might see such dominance ended, but they will always be in contention.

Enyimba will always be a destination for players in the domestic league. Like goalkeeper, Theophilus Afelokhai recently said, if you are an ambitious player, your target should be to play for Enyimba and that is the truth. The statue of the club will guarantee you titles and playing at the biggest stage, which is the continent.

Players in the NPFL are urging Gernot Rohr to invite them to the national team, when he decides to that, the first club he will consider is Enyimba.

That’s all for this morning. Football prediction will be up very soon, check the prediction page for the latest round of fixtures.

I’ll leave you with yesterday’s podcast.

You can download Acast mobile app on Google Playstore or App Store and follow The Athletic NG Football Podcast.

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