The dream of Plateau United lifting the 2017 NPFL title may as yet not be cast on stone following the depletion of the team as they file out on final match day against visiting Rangers International at the Rwang Pam Stadium, Jos, on Saturday.
No thanks to the supremacy of national team assignment, Plateau United will go into the game with three of their influential players who have been called up to feature for Nigeria in the WAFU Cup competition kicking off in Ghana by the weekend.
The clubs first choice goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye, defender Daniel James and forward liner Peter Eneji are all in the trip to Ghana.
Hard fighting Eneji, nicknamed “Messi” by Jos fans was the saviour for Plateau United, scoring from a free kick in the last minute on match day 36 to stop visiting Rivers United from stealing away maximum points from Jos.
Football buffs say their absence will put huge holes in Plateau’s match plan especially against an experienced side like Rangers who are keen to defend their pride as reigning champions.
Rangers are also in without key defence personnel, Osas Okoro, also invited for the WAFU campaign but they have nothing to lose.
Former sports editor of the Guardian, Clement Nwankpa Jnr who described Eneji as about the most influential player in the side after the departure of Philip Azongo believes his service would have been seriously needed on such a crucial day but hopes that the long throws of Daniel Itodo with a gangling Emeka Umeh putting the pressure from aerial balls on goal mouth is enough weapon to keep coach Kennedy Boboye’s optimism and mind at rest over whatever happens in Maiduguri between El Kanemi Warriors and challengers for the title, MFM of Lagos who are with 62 points on the heels of Plateau’s 63.