Friday, 14 October 2011


Dolphins defender Kennedy Chinwo who was part of Nigeria’s U20 team that got to the final of the World Youth Championships in 2005 and played a part in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games team in the qualifiers says his team will win the Nigerian League title for Governor Rotimi Amaechi...

With few games left to end the season, do you think Dolphins is still title favourite?
I am very optimistic about winning the league title with Dolphins this season and nothing will change my optimism. I know the league has gotten to a tough time, but no matter what, we are winning the league this season.

What makes you think the title is yours, knowing fully that Dolphins are on the same points with Sunshine Stars FC?
I think they (Sunshine) are the main rival of the season, but we can always prove that we are a bunch of experienced players and use this in getting the maximum points needed to lift the trophy as soon as possible. We respect Sunshine Stars a lot because they have really shown great potentials, but to me, we are better than them.

Don’t you think Dolphins can still slip off in the title race?
And what makes you think our rivals cannot as well slip off for us to win the league? Or are you a fan of the club? This is football and anything can happen like you said earlier. But I believe something good will happen to Dolphins and help in lifting the title. The Nigeria Premier League is really developing in terms of players’ commitment and the tactical aspect of it. 

Chinwo, you look very confident in lifting the title. What makes you think Dolphins is the best team to lift the title?
We have among the most experienced players in the league and we have the zeal and determination to lift this season title. Let us forget the fact that we had some injury problems in the second of half of the season, and that is why teams like Sunshine can catch us with points. Remember, we started well at the beginning of the season, but we all know that injury is part of football and I am very happy that we were able to cope well even without the injured players.

Are you saying Dolphins is the best club in the Nigerian League now?
Of course, we are the best because we have experienced players in our team and we are well-motivated to do the job.

What kind of motivation have you guys received from the state government?
Sincerely speaking, they are really trying their best for us to win the league. They have assured us of better gifts if we win the league and apart from that, it is our dream to win the title and we will not let it go.

Have the players received Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s backing to bring the title to his cabinet?
Our governor is an able sportsman. We all know his status in the country and he has assured us of rewards if we win the league title. He has promised and he’s keeping us motivated. I think he’s the secret of our success this time around and we have all promised to make him proud.

Sunshine has been doing well recently, both in the league and the continental tournament and they are even at the semi final of CAF continental cup. How will you react to their threatening Dolphins for the league?
Sunshine Stars is also a good side in the league, they have been doing well like you said, we are all aware of their success at the continental tournament and I wish them well to lift the continental cup and forget about the Nigerian league title. I really respect the club and their players because most of the players in their squad have won the league title in the past with various clubs in the country and I think they should concentrate of lifting the continental cup, not the Nigerian league title.

But most of their players have vowed not to slip off in the league…
That is their dream anyway, but neither do we intend to slip off as well, but our game with Sunshine will decide who will lift the trophy.

Dolphins will play away at Sunshine in the last two games to end the season. How will you describe the game?
It’s going to be battle of the titans, but we will come out victorious. We all know it’s a fight to the finish and we are preparing for it already. Sunshine is very good at home, in fact they have been excellent of recent, but I don’t think that is a yardstick for us to be wary of their challenge. We are all professionals and I believe we have what it takes to handle situation.

How will you react to the match-fixing allegation laid against Sunshine in their game against Lobi Stars of Makurdi?
I think the case has been buried, but I think such things happen in the league, that means something is happening somewhere, but I will not like to talk much about that because it is an administrative issue, so let us wait and see how it ends.

What about if such things happen against Dolphins?
Nobody will dare try such things and let us believe it is just a coincidence. I don’t want to believe it’s true and nobody will do that to us, not even the officials.

Is it true that match-fixing exists in the Nigerian League?
I will not be able to answer that question because I have not been engaged in anyone before, but the questions can be referred to the match officials because they are the one who handle matches.

You have been doing well in the league after coming back from Europe, especially this season. What is the secret?
Its determination and God’s backing. I always give my best during the training session and repeat such performances in the league games.

After the end of the season, what is the next aspect of your career?
By the special grace of God, I still want to move to Europe because my dream of playing Europe is still alive even though I was there before. I still have the dream of returning to Europe. Also, playing for the national team has always been my dream. I want to get a national call up to the Super Eagles squad and I would like the coach to give me a trial in my position.

AKINSOLA: Playing for Dream Team is my PRIORITY

Cardiz CF of Spain striker, Kabiru Akinsola said he cannot wait for a return to the national U-23 team popularly known as Dream Team IV for a place in the pre-Olympic tournament.

The former Nigeria U-17 star Kabiru Akinsola popularly called Akingoal on loan to Cardiz CF after completing a three year deal with Spanish La Liga newcomer FC Granada.
Akinsola who has been targeting a national team return could not wait to jeer the Cardiz fans with eight prolific goals to his name in the Spanish league second tier.

"I'm put myself in a good shape for the new season to prove myself for the fans, and I am happy to be reaping it now. I am happy for my form but I want to keep scoring for my club, I believe my form will continue till the end of the season.
"I'm enjoying every bit of my training with the team and I am happy to be here.

"I think the best of player comes on the pitch when the big games begin, I have come here to play and to be a successful player both at club and national team level.

"I will really prove myself here, I have stay back to learn the game, I want to begin paying off the lost time. I want to prove the doubters wrong.

How are you doing right now in Cardiz CF?
It has been a great season for me here and I want to really keep it up. I am for everything here because everybody in the technical crew believe much on my ability and they always give me the confidence that I can do much better than what I am doing.

Obviously, things are moving well for you in Cardiz CF with eight goals to your name already. What is the secret of your form?
I don't know if you can recalled my game during the U-17 World Cup in Korea 2009, I was at my pick and my game was good according to you guys but at times in football, you lose form and people does not know that it is only encouragement you need to return to best form. I am being encouraged and appreciated here and that is why things are moving well for me. The team has really helped me in getting to my best form likewise the way am scoring for them. I think my best is just coming in a matter of time. My current form is base on total concentration and hardworking. I was motivated in my new club not monetary wise but with lots of confidence.

You’re scoring consistently these days. Was this something you specifically worked on before the season began?
Yes I did work in my scoring ability before at the pre-season. I’m playing higher up the field these days, almost like an attacker. It means I get behind the defenders a lot more and find myself in a lot more one-on-one situations and then I took my chances.

Did missing out on Dream Team Olympic qualifiers’ squad act as an added motivation going into the new season?
Let me quickly say this; I was certainly motivated to prove why I am needed in the Dream team during the qualifiers but unfortunately the coaches could not look into my way. It was a blow at the time, but long term, I think it was a good thing for me because I have enough time to help my club. It allowed me to get away on holiday and have a proper break, and when I came back I was hugely motivated. 
Is it true that you ignore Dream team call up?
I never received anyone! I always monitor national team assignment and I will know if I am invited or not but for now, I can authoritatively tell you that nobody has sent me any invitation.

How did you see Dream Team chances in morocco for the pre-Olympic tournament?
We are going to qualify. Why I use we is because I am a Nigerian and I love to play for my country anytime but I felt bad at times if some of my colleagues are getting call up and I will be ignore. If you can agree with me that Dream Team will qualify because the Super Eagles are already out of Nations Cup and Nigerians need consolation pride and that is what Dream team need to do for the country.

Austin Eguavon is touring Europe for players. How did you see your chances of playing for the star studded team?
I also see myself as a professional, and coming to play for my country will never scare me if am given the chance. I know what you are saying but I believe I can equally contribute my quota to the development of the team but it all depends on the coach.

Have you been in touch with the coach?
I have not but I was in touch with his assistant coach, Ben Iroha.

What is the discussion all about?
I told him my readiness to come and play for my country and I will be glad for a call up but he never guarantees me for any. But I think my performance here in Cardiz will surely open the door. What I need now is to up my games and keep my form and be hopeful of the call up.