Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan, ended the regular season of the 2020/21 Nigeria National League last Sunday with a goalless draw away to Rovers FC at the U.J Esuene Stadium, Calabar.
The Oluyole Warriors finished top of the Southern Conference Group B1, to book their place in the planned Super Eight, where the winners and the runners up from each of the four group, will meet to determine which four clubs would eventually be promoted to the elite cadre of the Nigerian league, the NPFL.
With the first task over, the Ibadan soccer lords look forward to the decisive hurdle which is the play off where they are expected to battle for the two slots from the Southern Conference alongside Group B1 runner up, Ekiti United and the two teams from the yet to be concluded Group B2.
In this chat with the Shooting Stars Media after Sunday’s game in Calabar, 3SC Chief coach, Edith Olumide Agoye (Esin) declared that the team now faces the biggest task of the season, the play off, stating that the former continental champions will do everything right to break the jinx of the play off, which had twice been the bane of team in the race for promotion.
Your view about today’s (Sunday) game against Rovers?
It was a good game on a general note and a good way to end the regular season. Our boys did well enough considering the fact that we got here late yesterday (Saturday) night.
Our journey was a bit hectic, it took us two days to arrive here in Calabar. We arrived at around 10pm on Saturday and we played on Sunday, of course fatigue set in but we are delighted that despite that, the boys were able to put up a good performance.
How do you see the officiating?
The officiating was good, a level playing ground was allowed. The officials allowed both teams to play and I think the result was very fair to the two sides
Going forwatd, what next for your team?
We are very happy that we ended the season without any injury and we finished in the first position which was the target. This is just an objective that has been achieved, the main aim is to get the team promoted to the NPFL at the end of the season.
This game is a very good one for us, considering the fact that for about four or five weeks, the league was on hold, we are very happy to be able to play competitive football again and it will help our preparations towards the Super eight.
Talking about the Super 8, what is your plan?
Preparations continue. Yes the league has ended for some clubs but for Shooting Stars, it is the begining of the biggest task, the Super eight. Fortunately, this game has really helped us. We were able to see where we are and what we need to do going forward.
We are very happy with the quality of display by the players, despite the fatigue that set in and we hope to correct the mistakes we noticed in the encounter and at the end of the day, we will be able to present a formidable squad for the playoff.
The play off has been the bane of 3SC in the past seasons What should the team’s fans be expecting this time around?
Naturally, people will talk about history. History suggests that playoff has not favoured 3SC twice, but I don’t think history will repeat itself for too long. This is the time for us to make use of the experiences of the past defeats and make sure we do the right thing in order to get promoted at the end of the season.
All the best coach
Thank you very much.