Shooting Stars head coach, Edith Agoye insists the Oluyole Warriors will set out to defend their Dapo Abiodun Preseason title as this year’s edition kicks off on Tuesday (Today) at the Dipo Dina International Stadium, Ijebu-Ode.
The five-time Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions lifted the maiden edition of the prestigious Preseason Tourney last year when they defeated Delta Force 1-0 in the final game. They recorded a historic semifinal victory when they hammered Lobi Stars 5-0 to reach the final which they eventually won.
“I’m excited we are participating in the preseason tournament this year, we are looking forward to the tournament and as the champions, it gives us a great opportunity to defend our title. It will also give us that chance to compete with top NPFL clubs,” said Agoye.
The champions are paired in Group C alongside two Nigeria National League (NNL) sides Nilayo FC and Remo Stars, while Kwara United are the only NPFL side in the group.
“The feeling as the tournament champions is great, we had a good tournament last year and it showed us the level that we are. We took the form into the season and we did well in the season before the pandemic outbreak. We want to replicate what we did last season in the tournament.
“Ijebu-ode community should expect a vintage Shooting Stars, a team that is playing in the NNL but deserves to be in the NPFL. We hope our performance in the preseason tournament and the season proper will help us take the club back to the top flight.”
The tourney organizers have confirmed the 12 clubs that will participate in this year’s edition and the draws were conducted on Monday. The tournament is supported by Nigeria’s number one betting company, Bet9ja, and newly birthed airline, ValueJet.
Kwara United and Remo Stars will face-off in the opening game today at 4pm, the grand finale is scheduled for November 24th.