NNL Returns After One Month As Bayelsa United Face J, Atete In Ughelli
By Hananeel Jackson
Action resumes this weekend in the second tier Nigeria National League, NNL, across different centers in the Southern and Northern Conferences after a one month break.
Top of the fixture in group B2 of the Southern conference is the encounter between J,Atete Fc and 2009 Nigeria Professional Football League champions, Bayelsa United at the Otujeremi stadium, Ughelli, on Saturday with the return of some key players.
The Yenagoa based side spanked J, Atete by three goals to one at the Samson Siasia Stadium last month in the final game of the first round in group B2 of the NNL with goals from Victory Beniangba, Okardi Inikurogha as well as an own goal from the visitors that ensured that they returned to Otujeremi with nothing.
Bayelsa United will be aiming for a win away having amassed twenty points in the first round, four points adrift leaders, Remo Stars as Fc One Rocket surprisingly finished second at the end of the first stanza.
In 2017, Sunday Owoyemi 37 minutes strike helped the Yenagoa side to beat J, Atete Fc one nil at the Otujeremi stadium in an intense encounter.
Elsewhere, third placed Bendel Insurance will welcome Gateway United, group leaders Remo Stars will be at home to Fc One Rocket of Abat, Crown Fc of Ogomosho will entertain Abia Comets of Umuahia.
Bottom side, Holy Arrows travel to Lagos to face Joy Cometh, while it would be battle of survival in Agbor as Apex Krane welcome Goddosky of Nnewi as Ibom Youth are on standby.
Speaking on the importance of the game, technical adviser of Bayelsa United, Diepreye Teibowei said he expects a tough showdown against J, Atete Fc despite the outcome of their last meeting in the group.
He explained that with the acquisition of some new players into the squad, he was optimistic of getting the first away victory of the season, stating that Bayelsa United would return to the Nigeria Professional Football League at the end of the NNL campaign.
Also, midfielder, Favour Martins noted that the injection of new players into the squad has strengthened the team ahead of the tie this weekend.
Apparently satisfied with the spirit of the players, chairman of Bayelsa United Mr. Ebiki Timitimi said they would approach the game like a cup final, pointing out that players match bonuses would be given to them before they depart.
He pointed out that with his track record while in Bayelsa Queens as chairman, he was sure of returning Bayelsa United to the NPFL.