All is in top gear for a successful hosting of the Nationwide League One (NLO) Super 8 which kicks off in Lagos from 3rd to 8th October.
A total of 8 teams secured promotion to the NNL after they finished the season top of their groups and emerged victorious in the promotion playoffs.
The playoffs, which was hosted at neutral venues, had Smart City FC (Lagos State), Madiba FC (Lagos State), FC Ebedei (Ogun State), Police Barretta FC, Kun Khalifa FC (Imo State), Aspire FC (Anambra State), Jnr Danburan (Katsina State) and Mailatarki Care FC of the Federal Capital Territory, earning promotion to the Nigerian National League(NNL).
The eight teams will at the Legacy Pitch in Surulere, Lagos will slug it out in the championship play-off to determine the overall winner for the NLO 2022 season.
With arrival date for teams fixed for Sunday October 2nd, the opening fixtures of the championship play-off are JNR Danburan versus Madiba (10am), Aspire FC versus Police Barreta (12noon), Mailatarki Care FC versus FC Ebedei (2pm) and Smart City versus Kun Khalifa FC billed for 4pm respectively on 3rd October.
Below is the profile of the eight promoted teams:
MAILANTARKI CARE FC
Founded in 2021, the name Mailantarki Care FC was derived from the owner’s name – Hon Khamisu Ahmed Mailantarki – who created the football academy from his Foundation, Mailantarki Care Foundation, in order to discover and promote young talented players to professional level locally or internationally.
Mailantarki Care FC is affiliated to the FCT Football Association and duly registered and participated in both the FA Cup and Division I of the Nigeria Nationwide League One, where it was promoted in 2022 to the 2nd Tier Nigeria National League (NNL) in its first ever appearance in the NLO.
Nigeria’s U-17 World Cup winning coach Manu Garba OON is the club Technical Director and he guided the team to the achieve the aforementioned promotion as well as other international achievements in the 2022 Dana Cup and Norway Cup in Hjørring and Oslo respectively.
FC Ebedei was founded in 1998 in Lagos, from where it moved to Sagamu in Ogun state. FC EBEDEI graduands regularly appear in the prestigious UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE for several European clubs as a result of the success of the club in selling players to clubs in Europe.
From inception FC EBEDEI has consistently graduated her alumni to the very top of World football, including the five top leagues of Europe and the senior national teams of Nigeria, with notable players such as Obafemi Martins, Ayodele Makinwa, Oluwafemi Ajilore, Paul Ebere Onuachu, Frank Onyeka, Raphael Onyedika Nwadike among others having their roots in the club. Interestingly FC EBEDEI has been champion of all tiers/divisions of the Nationwide League One.
MADIBA FOOTBALL CLUB
Madiba Football Club (often nicknamed ‘The Moving Train’) is a Nigerian football club based in Oshodi, Lagos state.
Founded in 2017 by Alhaja Adebisi Adeyemi Basirat, the club is primarily set up as an initiative to have a grassroots football club as a platform for recreational activity among the youth and also to serve as an avenue to discover talents and provide a pathway for such talented youth to keep away from anti-social vices and behaviour in the community.
In 2018, the continuous hard work of the club saw them finish 2nd in their first season in the Nationwide League One (NLO). In 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 season, Madiba FC also finished second in the NLO.
In the 2021/2022 season, Madiba FC maintained an unbeaten record in fourteen league matches in their C1 group, and on August 20, 2022, after topping the table, Madiba FC secured promotion to the Nigeria National League (NNL) after beating Beyond Limit FC from Ogun state on penalties at the NLO play-off held at the Lekan Salami stadium, Adamasingba Ibadan.
KUN KHALIFAT FC
Kun Khalifat Football Club was founded in 2020 by Mr. Michael Chukwudi Amaefula (Chairman). The club is based in Owerri, Imo State and they play their home games at (OISA) Onwubike International Soccer Stadium Ngor-Okpala, Imo State.
The club reached the NLO play-off in 2021 and won the AITEO Cup 2022 in Imo State, also topping their group at the end of the the Nationwide League One (NLO) 2022 season to gain Promotion to Nigeria National League (NNL).
Kun Khalifat Football Club is a full-time football club that takes part in national competitive games to enhance the rapid and professional growth of its players and provide exposure for their players to national and international football.
POLICE BARETTA FC
Police Baretta FC is a Nigeria Police team based in Gombe, Gombe state. The club is sponsored by the Nigeria Police Force under special dispensation of the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, and serves as the police team. The chairman of the club is Garba Sule Yaro while the technical adviser is Coach Omatiga Gabriel.
Police Baretta FC was promoted to NLO Division 1 in 2019 and topped their group in the 2022 NLO season to gain promotion to NNL
SMART CITY FOOTBALL CLUB
Smart City Football Club is based in Lagos and is registered to train, develop and promote youth development through sports. Affiliated to Lagos state Football Association (LSFA), Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), Smart City FC is a club grown from the love of the game of soccer and managed by experienced staff made up of former football players and sports administrators with decades of experience, and with a dedication to developing future football players.
Smart City FC sets out its mission to provide instructional and competitive youth football opportunities that enhance character, community and love of the game, while also integrating development of self-esteem, self-confidence, teamwork, respect for self and other, and all the inherent benefits of physical exercise into its training programme, through quality coaching, sound leadership and absolute sincerity of purpose.
The club is solely sponsored by its President who ensures that it is able to perform many important team-related duties to keep up with other clubs in the NLO fold
JUNIOR DANBURAM FC DAURA
Junior Danburam FC Daura was established in 2002 by the Prince of Daura Alhaji Muhammad Daha Umar, and named after his traditional title of Danburam Daura. It is a privately owned and sponsored club
Junior Danburam FC Daura started with players between 12 and 13 years of age, competing in age grade local competitions where they won many trophies including:
- Samba Challenge Cup in 2005.
- Daura Local government Unity Cup in 2006.
- Daura Emirate (Emir’s Cup) 2007
- Daura Premier League 2008.
- Katsina state Muslims/Christians Peace & Unity Cup
In 2009, Junior Danburam FC Daura started participating in the Katsina State Super League Competition where their outstanding performance in the tournament got them an automatic ticket to represent the State in Inter State U-17 Competition held in Kano, where they emerged the runner-up of the competition. Junior Danburam FC Daura also represented Katsina state in President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Peace and Unity Cup in 2011/2012 which they won to secure the ticket to represent Nigeria in UEA Dubai for an U-20 Local competition in that country. In 2013, the club were also runner-up in the Katsina State Sure-P Competition and a year later they participated in and won the state Governor’s Cup.
Their entry into Division III of the Nationwide League One in 2016 came about because they won State Super League and in 2017, they gained promotion to Division II of the NLO where they were till they were promoted in 2021/2022 to the NNL.
ASPIRE FC ADAZI- ANI
Aspire Football Club based in Anambra State, was born on 18th of September 2018, at a time when unemployment was rife manifesting in agitations, restiveness and insecurity and solutions that could provide a platform that would offer young people an opportunity for recognition and the expression of their talents.
The young club, made up of 50 amateur talents assembled from different parts of the state, were given a new home and exposed to effective training where their hunger for opportunity was let loose on the football pitch. In their very first season, they went ahead to become Anambra State FA champions defeating the likes of Ifeanyi Uba FC in the tournament. This team of undaunted players further became the NLO Division II champions the same year enabling them gain promotion to NLO Division 1.
The COVID 19 pandemic in 2020 disrupted football activities all over the globe, but right after the lifting of the lockdown, Aspire FC was on the field again topping their NLO Division I Group. Unfortunately for them, they lost at the league play-off, finishing in 2nd place and missing the opportunity for a second consecutive promotion.
In the 2021/2022 NLO Season, Aspire FC once again topped their NLO Division I Group and emerged successful at the playoffs, consequently gaining promotion to the Nigeria National League (NNL).