Ahead of the opening of 2017 NPFL season, Rangers International Technical Adviser, Imama Amakapabo sat down with Diegwu Sports where he outlined his objectives for 2017.
The former Sharks of Port Harcourt goal keeper and reigning coach of the year started by saying talking of his team’s chances for the 2017 CAF Champions League. According to him, his team’s chances of a good showing in the continent’s premium club competition has been boosted by the early commencement of the NPFL which will provide competitive games for the Flying Antelopes.
“Am very optimistic that the league starting before the continental competitions will help us a lot. No matter how much you thing you are ready especially when you play preseason matches, you can never compare that with competitive matches,. The team we are playing against have already played a couple of matches in the Algerian league but by the time we play them we must have played like 6 competitive games. Am very happy for that.”
Imama went on to outline his ambitions for the season, a=urging his players and staff to keep their feet on the ground.
‘Am a very ambitious person, last year many people had doubts about us and what we could do but I did a lot of crazy things like getting a dummy trophy and all that. This year its going to be a tougher task in the sense that last year we had players who never believed in themselves and we worked hard to install the self believe, this year we have to work on their psychology and guard against complacency.
‘Before we can achieve anything this season we have to keep our feet to the ground. Last season is gone, I wanna win trophies this year and i hop the players wanna win that too this year’
The coach also talked about the on going transfer saga concerning star striker Chisom Egbuchulam and Nigerian International Ejike Uzueni. Imama was rather diplomatic in his response.
‘We all love Chisom, and we are happy for him, we want the best for him, personally I have already said my good byes to him, however, i am more than ready to welcome him back the team if things don’t go well.
‘His importance cannot be over emphasized. So I am monitoring the situation very closely.’
‘As for Ejike, its very good for us when we are linked to such a good player like that, personally i have spoken with the player especially when he was training with us, so too has the official of Rangers, its now up to him to decide where next he wants to go, the doors are wide open for him, He is part of our family and he will be welcomed too with open arms.’
Ranger begin their title defense on Sunday afternoon at home to Abia Warriors. kick off is by 4pm.