Nasarawa vs Enyimba: Solid Miners dare Elephants in Lafia


By Abiodun Adewale.

Playing on an adopted ground in Jos, Nasarawa United begin their 2022/23 Nigeria Professional League campaign against eight times champions, Enyimba FC on Saturday (today) as hostilities continue in the toughest group of the abridged league.

Nasarawa United are one of the five teams whose home ground failed to meet the licensing regulations of the Interim Management Committee but despite being away from their turf, the Solid Miners remain confident of recording a win.

“We want to feast on the Aba Elephants on Saturday (today) and be rest assured that the soup will go round. Make it a date with us as we expect to see you all in Jos. Sai Team Solid Miners,” the team posted on Twitter.

However, Nasarwa United’s coach, Bala Nkiyu is aware the game isn’t played on social media, saying he is focused on making the Super Six cut ahead of the abridged season.

“Suffice to state that if we get results, it will take us to places,”Nkiyu told Saturday PUNCH.

“Our market values too will improve. So, as far as we are here for Nasarawa United and the state, we are equally doing so for ourselves. By the grace of God, we shall make everybody including the Governor proud of Nasarawa United this season.

Enyimba on the other are looking to reclaim their bragging rights in the NPFL having recorded an underwhelming performance last season when they finished seventh with 52 points.

To put their last season’s woes in perspective ahead of their first game of the season, they finished a place behind Nasarawa United on the table, and lost the away fixture to the Solid Miners 2-1 before securing a hard-fought 3-2 win in the reverse fixture.

Head coach of the team and assistant Super Eagles coach, Finidi George, who was in charge last season has vowed to make things better.

“Enyimba will be better than last season,” Finidi told Saturday PUNCH.

“While I can’t say where we will end up, I can assure you it will be far better than last season.

“This club is one of the biggest in Africa and the biggest and best in Nigeria and cannot afford not to play in the continent for too long. Enyimba will bounce back next season and be stronger too.

“Our form was on and off throughout the season and for a team like Enyimba, that is not acceptable. We pushed to at least get one of the tickets to play in the continent but in the end, it didn’t come to fruition.
“We shall give it our best and see how it goes, but we the officials, players, management and fans are disappointed and we shall try to mend things next season.”