Niger Tornadoes, 3SC, Giant Brillars; Cart Away Top Prizes At NNL Super Eight Finals
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By Ebube Dike
Newly crowned Nigeria National League, NNL Champions, Niger Tornadoes of Minna, runners up Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan and Giant Brillars of Enugu dominated the awards, as the curtains fell on the 2021 NNL Super Eight.
Aside from being crowned champions of the 2020/20212 NNL season which officially ended on Sunday, Niger Tornadoes manager, Abubakar Bala Mohammed emerged the best coach of the season, after his side edged 3SC of Ibadan 3-2 in a pulsating final decided at the Cathedral, the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.
The Ikon Allah Boys and Gombe United both finished with 5 points, in the Northern conference Group, but Tornadoes had a superior goals difference of plus 2, wereas Gombe United had plus one.
3SC who won the Southern conference Group and ended in second place overall, scooped two other prizes as their striker Olafimihan Gafar was voted the (MVP) Most Valuable Player and the Best Striker of the season.
The double award winner banged in sixteen (16) goals during the regular season and three (3) at the Super Eight playoffs.
Gafar had two braces and double hat-trick in the season against Rovers of Calabar and FC Nilayo.
Their Shot stopper, Charles Tambe who is a Camerounian, went home with the best goalkeeper award, after keeping several clean sheets and making numerous saves during the regular season and Super eight.
Giant Brillars of Enugu finished 9th in the Group B1 table of the NNL Southern Conference in the regular season. The team under the tutelage of former Nigerian International, Nduka Ugbade were rewarded with the Fair Play Award, reserved for the best behaved team, following their good conducts on and off the pitch of play.
Delighted at the development for his young squad, Coach Ugbade said the award will further encouraged Giant Brillars.
According to Captain of the FIFA/Kodak Under-16 World Cup winning Captain, Giant Brillars exhibited very positive attitudes all through the season to earn the award he said is deserving.
Past NNL Champions in the last five seasons
2021 – Niger Tornadoes
2019 – Akwa Starlets (Dakkada FC)
2018 – Kada City
2017 – Go-Round
2016 – Gombe United .
Meanwhile, Niger Tornadoes, Gombe United, Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan and Remo Stars picked the four available promotion tickets from the NNL to the Nigeria Professional football league (NPFL).
They will replace the quartet of Adamawa United, FC Ifeanyiubah, Jigawa Golden Stars and Warri Wolves who were relegated from the NPFL to the NNL.