HIFL 2020 : How Unilorin Warriors Are Preparing For Trophy


Yemi Sodeeq

Although the 29 teams league High Institution Football League(HIFL) is yet to commence, the University of Ilorin Football team also known as Unilorin Warriors are ready to stretch up their limits to clinch the coveted ultimate trophy this time around.

While it will be an understatement to say the burning desires of the University of Ilorin Football Team is to right their wrongs in previous edition even as they did move an inch towards the Ultimate trophy of HiFL, the team has started preparation since last year November.

More like an ascending order of human age or learning cadres, the University in the first edition had their last encounter in the third place and lost out, they would in the following edition played the same third place and win.

It is believed that the lessons learnt from the last two editions will eventually become a leverage for the coach Gambari led team to achieve the highest title of the tournament as they set out to prosecute the league.

Coach Gambari recounts: “In 2018, I did only two months to prepare the boys and get to third place, though we lost due to fatigue of the journey as we got to Lagos 1:30pm on the match day, we played the same third place last year and won, meaning that day by day there’s a progress in the team”.

While reeling out some plans that has been put in place going into the league this year, the Kwara born gaffer said new boys have been injected into the team and he expects the best.

“We have injected some new boys into the team and split the squad in two as we have mostly some of the old players one side and the new boys with some old the other side.

“We are very much ready this time around. What cost us previous editions will not happen this time around, he concluded.

He boasted of the enormity of materials to get on the league saying after a screening sessions he had not less than 70 best legs options.

Re-echoing the position of the Coach, Ogungbenro Mustapha Shegun, was among the HIFL Elite 11 in the last year’s edition, he opined that his team will come out victorious at the end of the season.

“We have learnt different lessons in 2018 and 2019 which will not happen again, this is our time to be crowned the champions. We the players are working very hard to get it done.

Like Mustapha, Ajao Sodiq Olanrewaju was also part of the HIFL Elite 11 last year, as the assistant skipper of the team, Sodiq said the team is due for trophy and will not consider anything less.

“This year, we are going to double up our efforts with full determination and dedication towards the team, i think we will get to the final and bring the trophy come to Ilorin by God grace and no more third place again.

Unilorin Warriors have shown a great level of competitiveness in the last two editions, while the coach will always went home as part of the Elite coach personality recognition, playing the Super four stage of the tourney in the last two years has endeared the team many fans and supporters alike.

In addition to a considerable positive imprints of every year Master Class show, Warriors have paraded young players for the previous two editions those players who have been exposed to the dimensions of the league and they stand a chance to fair well this time around even as they now have new promising and younger ones.

Coach Isiaka Gambari in his words also commended the Management of the HIFL league while challenging them to do more.

“They have been doing wonderfully well and so we want them to do more.

With the 29 team list being released for this year HIFL ,the league is expected to get underway as soon as the COVID-19 Pandemic is over albeit participating schools still wait for their groupings.

Last two editions of the League was won by Universities of Agriculture, Makurdi and Calabar respectively.


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