Godwin Koko Uwa has given the organization and standard of play at the Gold Cup pre-season Tournament in Ijebu-Ode a pass mark.
Uwa whose Lobi Stars team qualified for the final, defeated defending champions, Kano Pillars 3-1 in Friday’s semi-final was full of praises on the idea towards the hosting of the championship.
“I must commend the brains behind the tourney as its in its 4th edition, it’s the best in the country as we had the top teams in the Nigeria Premier League and from the lower division that took part in the tourney.
“I rate it a Grade A pre-season, because the positive we achieved in last year’s edition after we got knocked out in the semi-finals on penalties by Supreme Court helped us in the league. Mind you, I was barely three months in charge with the team, so the old and new players were getting to know themselves. That I feel affected us performance too.
“I recall Lobi Stars got its first point on the road after we shocked Ikhana’s Shooting Stars in front of their fans. That was just less than three weeks after the end of the Gold Cup.
“This year again, Lobi is in the final, so if the quality of play in the Gold Cup was below standard, trust me, I would not have enrolled the team into the tourney.”
“The game against Pillars was one we won because the Kano side were over confident of themselves having taking 4 points from us last season, they thought they would just over run us again.
“Now we’re in the finals against a good and young team, MFM FC, not taking anything away from them, my team will win the trophy.
“We are Lobi Stars and winning is our tradition. I want a good final tomorrow from my players and that of MFM.”
Team Manager of the ‘Food Basket’ team, Barnabas Imenger didn’t hide his feelings as he commended the tourney organizers for a job weldone.
“From a professional angle, there has been a great improvement in the tournament as it has avail teams the chances to come and test their technical abilities before going into the season.
“As regards the game against MFM FC of Lagos, it’s a friendly, but of course we want to win the Gold Cup trophy as winning gives a team confidence,” he said.