Nigeria Professional Football League (NFL)NPFL) Ready to resume after a few days.
One of the questions raised by many Nigerian football fans is whether United can continue to win the title they won for the first time last season.
However, the attacking midfielder, who has played for Uyo Club until this year, has been linked with a move away from the Champions League.
Annefiock is now back in Canoe Pillar. During his time in Tunisia, the former Nigeria U-23 midfielder joined the Union Sport de Ben Gurdane on loan.
After a two-year stay in Tunisia, Annefiock returned to Nigeria with Aqua United and then the Ingu Rangers after trying in Cyprus and Lithuania.
In this interview, he discusses various issues, including why Nigerian clubs have not performed well in recent continental competitions.
How do you rate the performance of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NFL) last year compared to the big chances?
The power of God: I was not with Aqua United when they won the league, I signed after they signed but they did very well and I am proud of them.
PT: Have you ever won the league with another club?
The power of God: Then I was a good team at Canoe Pillas in 2015 and our goal was to win the league. But we had some issues that affected the team and some players had to leave, the team was disbanded and that was the time to win the league.
Pitt Lite has played in the Nigerian league and abroad, how do you compare the experience?
The power of God: There is a big difference between here and there. For example, you can’t walk six hours on the road to play, you have to fly. Here in Nigeria, we travel for days, sometimes for two days. With what is happening in Nigeria; There is no safety, no kidnapping and no killing, we are still on the road to play games off the field.
In fact, there are many differences. There is no set date for the start or end of the Nigerian league. You can decide to do anything, stop the league and say ‘OK it’s the end of the year’. But that does not happen abroad; There is a big difference.
So why did Pitt Poe win two Caf Champions League trophies with the exception of Inimimba, which is not good for Nigerian teams in continental football?
The power of God: To be honest, I don’t really know what the problem is. Inimba is doing well in representing the country at the CAF Games. Enyimba Rangers tried a little later but the rest did not go as planned. I do not know the player or the management. I do not know what to say.
Over the years, we have seen North African clubs compete in North African clubs. You played in that region, what do you think Nigeria can learn from them?
The power of God፡ The clubs there are private businesses. But here in Nigeria, clubs are owned by the government and we know that governments operate on a budget. For example, one season they say, ‘OK, we’re giving you a ሚሊዮን 20 million budget to run the league.’ But they do not do that there.
There they see it as a business. They make good money by buying good players from other countries, from other places and from other clubs. And they pay in dollars. So you can’t compare here in Nigeria. But we are still trying. At least now five to six years ago is better. Because in 2013 when I played against Aqua United I saw some players earn 70,000 or N60,000 a month. But now we see players earning N600-700,000. They are improving and I think everything will be fine over time.
PTTI: Do you think the Nigerian-based players are getting a lot of chances in the national team or is it true that the country’s best legs are all out?
The power of God: We all believe that the best player in the league is the best player in the country, but I don’t think that’s true. Because I saw a lot of players who played here and they went out there and they are still doing well. I can be proud of Ahmed Musa, he is very good and he is working with other players.
I think in the past, home-based players have not been given as much opportunity to prove themselves as domestic leagues. But now I see a lot of changes and a lot of opportunities coming in, to set up home-based players and to bring them together and keep them and also to bring them to play friendly games. So I think we are on the right track now with regard to home-based players.
PTTY: Have you ever been invited to play for the national team at any level?
The power of God: I played under Nigeria U-23 under coach Samson (Cassia) and I also played in the Olympic qualifiers.
Will PTA come with more pressure to play for the country?
The power of God: Football is not normal because we were in camp for more than three months when we first started. We had a lot of players and every day some players go, new faces come and still do what you know how to do and keep praying and wait until the final list comes out. There was no pressure as we traveled but there was pressure when it started. There were so many players, we were around 300 or more. They kept going, new faces were coming in from other big names, ‘This is my player, you have to do this.’ They had to release some players to bring in the new ones. It was during the tournament that we played our traditional football and won the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
Pete: Where does the pressure come from – fans, friends or officials?
The power of God: Depends. Sometimes, it comes from fans, if you let them bother you. Sometimes it comes from the management, the coach or something else, but it depends. As a professional soccer player, you do not allow these things to come into your game, to influence your game. Try to put them aside and focus. Focus on what you are doing.
Which players would you like Pitt to emulate?
The power of God: I have a lot of players I want to be and I’m working, learning from them, watching them play. I like Neymar very much but because of my position my best player and role model is Kevin De Bruyne.
PT: Was going to professional football something you always wanted to do?
The power of GodI think that’s what I want to do because my dad used to tell me to play football when we were kids but my dad stopped him and told me to focus on his studies. And he told me that the only way he could let me play was to continue my education and support him in football. I think some people push me. My mother was pushing me, and I think she was the first person to buy my first pair of boots. Coincidentally, it was what I wanted and my family wanted it but they wanted me to focus on my school first. It was no coincidence.
PTTI: So how far have you come with your education?
The power of God: That was when I was in high school, but I still did not finish because I had an agreement when I was still in college. I went out and I saw football leadership and everything and I went to high school and I focused on traveling abroad and I forgot about school.
Read more: Aqua United became champions of Nigeria League for the first time
Pitt Pei: Do you regret this decision?
The power of GodI still prefer football to school but I still plan to go to school. I have plans, I am praying for the right opportunity and I pray for the right place so that I can do both at the same time. At that time, we did not know if we could cover both.
PTTIm Before the new season, what is your prediction? Do you think Aqua United can win the championship and who are the competitors?
The power of God: What I saw a few weeks ago at Aqua United is that I don’t think there are any such players who can compete in the league this season. They had good players last season but I think most players left the club. I don’t know what happened and they tried to recruit new players but they still had the same situation. I don’t think Aqua United will be in the top four this season. I have no problem with them. They’re a good team, that’s where I came from, but I don’t think they have a team that can compete this season.
My three favorite clubs for the title are Canoe Pillas, Rivers United and Inimba.
Thanks for your time Pitt Poe
The power of God: thanks you.
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