..my target is to get continental ticket for Akwa United – Ayeni
By Bassey Ibiatisuho
The Chairman of Akwa United Football Club, the defending champions of the Nigeria Professional Football League, Elder Paul Bassey has confirmed that the club received not less than 46 applications for the coaching job after parting ways with Coach Kennedy Boboye.
Bassey who stated this at the conference room of the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo during the unveiling of Ayodeji Ayeni as the new head coach of the Uyo-based side, regretted the results of the last three games in the first stanza of the league, adding that a drastic step was needed to reposition the team for the second stanza.
According to him, the applications came within and outside the country and made it difficult for the club to streamline and finally selected the former Sunshine Stars coach as the best choice for the club at the moment.
“This was one of the most difficult decisions I had to take as the chairman of Akwa United, getting a coach out of 46 applicants. Coach Ayodeji Ayeni is someone who carries a lot of positive credentials with him, very unassuming. He has succeeded with players that are not stars, he makes stars, so we are confident that with stars in our team, he will succeed. He has accepted to come and we are happy to have him. We believe we have got the right man for the job,” Elder Bassey stated.
He further stated that the team will bolster the squad with additional players during the mid-season with the aim of returning stronger when the second stanza of the season kicks-off.
Meanwhile, Ayeni who has formerly coached Cynosure FC, Ekiti United and most recently Sunshine Stars of Akure expressed delight joining Akwa United and described the team as one of the best in the country with rich history of success.
He thanked the management for finding him worthy for the job and promised to work assiduously with every key stakeholder to improve Akwa United, adding that his personal target is to make sure the defending champions get a continental ticket at the end of the season.
He said, “nothing is impossible in football, I am confident that I can contribute my quota to improve this great club. Every club has a bad phase when results are not coming, but this is a new era and I want to call on everyone to support the club for us to take it back to where it belongs.”
Akwa United football club sits 6th on the log after 19 games in the first stanza of the league and Ayeni has signed an initial one year contract to coach the current NPFL Champions.