Akwa United unveils 16 new players set for new season
Nigerian Premier league side Akwa United appear set for action in the new season after the coach Abdu Maikaba led side unveiled a 16 -man list Saturday in what could pass for bring on any opponent pose.
Included in the 16-man list are four players newly recruited from other clubs to fortify the squad for new season showdown
The new players according to information dished out by the club include Dennis Nya acquired from Lobi Stars, Etim Mathew from Rangers international, Adeshina Gata from ABS and Ajiboye Otegbeye from Sunshine stars of Akure.
Akwa United open their campaign in the new season against Rangers at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo on January 14.
The 2017 Aiteo Cup Champions won all their six preseason matches scoring 36 goals in the process. Though that could be dubbed good pre-season effort, coach Maikaba however said though he was impressed by the team’s effort there is need to be ready to go the extra mile adding that he needs to assess the team in more competitive ties.
Akwa United finished fourth on the log last season with 60 points in 38 matches. The Uyo landlords will not only be hoping to be in a killer mood for the new season but will also need to be on top of their game as they fly the Nation’s flag in the CAF Confederation Cup. They have been drawn against Banjul United of Gambia in a two legged tie billed for 9th and 16th of February respectively. Akwa United will host Banjul United on the 9th and then head to Banjul for the second leg on the 16th.
The full list of battle ready players for the club is as follows:
1. Ubong Easien ( Soccer Academy) Defensive Midfielder
2 .Emmanuel Charles ( Akwa Starlets) – Defensive Midfielder
3. Daniel Ekpo ( Rivers United) – Winger
4. Etboy Akpan ( NK Rudar, Slovenia) – Winger
5. Kenneth James ( El-kanemi Warriors) – Striker
6. Aminu Nuhu ( Adamawa United) – Attacking Midfielder
7.Aniekeme Asuquo ( Akwa Starlets) – Attacking Midfielder
8. Katoh Haggai ( GBS Academy, Jos) – Attacking Midfielder
9. Gabriel Wassa ( Rivers United) – Left full back
10. Yenne Tenton ( GBS Academy, Jos) – Winger
11. Kelly Kester (Enyimba) – Defensive midfielder
12.Victor Mbaoma ( Remo Stars) – Striker
13. Ajibola Otegbeye ( Sunshine Stars)
14. Adeshina Gata (ABS) – Winger
15. Denis Nya ( Lobi Stars) – Central Defender
16. Etim Mathew ( Rangers) – Right full back.
PROFILE OF NEWLY SIGNED AKWA UNITED PLAYERS FOR 2017/2018 LEAGUE SEASON
1. *Ubong Essien*: (DMF)…Ubong Essien is from Obot Akara LGA of Akwa Ibom State. He was born on the 17th of December,2001. He was discovered at the Ahlan Invitational Tournament in Kano last year. Ubong has Ngolo Kante as his role model
2. *Emmanuel Charles*(DMF)
Emmanuel,popularly known as *odoncor* was born on 2nd May,2000. He hails from Ibiono Ibom LG of Akwa Ibom State. He last played for Akwa Starlets last season and was instrumental to the team’s survival from relegation in the Nigeria National League. He has Franscesc Fabregas as his role model.
3. *Daniel Ekpo*(WG)
Daniel Ekpo was born on 2nd January,1996. He’s from Nsit Ubium LG of Akwa Ibom State. Ekpo is blessed with dribbling skills and great shooting ability. He’s signed from Rivers United and will wear Jersey number 28 and signs on a 1year deal
3. *Etboy Akpan (WG)
Etboy was born on 11th November,1998 and hails from Nsit Ibom LG of Akwa Ibom State. He last played for NK Rudar of Slovenia. Before travelling out,he was a regular in the National U15 and U17 teams in Nigeria. His role model is Willian da Silva
5. *Kenneth James*(ST)
Kenneth was on the books of El Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri last season. He’s from Anambra state and was born on 3rd September,1995. He joins Akwa
United on a 1year deal and has Cristiano Ronaldo as his role model
6. *Aminu Nuhu*(ATM)
Aminu hails from Plateau United and was born on the 29th December,1999. He joins Akwa United from Adamawa United on a two year deal
7. *Aniekeme Asuquo*(ATM)
Born on the 8th of May,1999,Aniekeme hails from Ibesikpo Asutan LG of Akwa Ibom State and is popularly known as *perrerre*. He’s a free kick specialist and has a lot of experience having previously played for Delta Force and Akwa
Starlets in the NNL. He joins the team from Akwa Starlets and will wear Jersey number 33.
8. *Katoh Haggai*(ATM)
Haggai joins the team from GBS Academy,Jos and was born on 30th December,1998 and hails from Plateau State. His role model is Eden Hazard and joins the team on a 1year deal
9. *Gabriel Wassa*(LB)
Gabriel is from Niger State and was born on 18th October,1995. He’s been signed from Rivers United having also previously played for Niger Tornadoes. He’s a pretty good crosser of the ball and has Marcelo as his role model
10. *Yenne Tenton*(WG)
Tenton joins Akwa United from GBS Academy,Jos and hails from Plateau State. He was born on July 7th,1997. He joins the team on a 2year deal. He will wear Jersey number 19.
11. *Kelly Kester*(DMF)
Kester was born 18th June,1992 and is a tough tackling midfielder and joins the team from Enyimba Int’l of Aba. He hails from Edo state and has Mikel Obi as his role model. He will wear Jersey number 12
12. *Victor Mbaoma*(ST)
As captain of Remo Stars last season where he has starred since 2012,he scored 14 goals for Remo Stars last season and the team was relegated last season. He joins Akwa United on a 1year deal,and scored twice against Akwa United in a 2-2 draw in Sagamu last season.
13. *Ajibola Otegbeye*(ST)
Ajibola joins Akwa United from Sunshine Stars of Akure. He bagged 10goals last season and will wear Jersey number 14 for Akwa United and has signed a 1year deal. Memories of how he tormented Akwa United last season are still fresh. He hails from Oyo state.
14. *Adeshina Gata*(WG)
He’s arguably the best winger in the NPFL. He hails from Ilorin East LG in Kwara State and scored 9goals last season for ABS FC. His role model is Lionel Messi. He joins the team on a 2year contract and will wear Jersey number 13.
15. *Dennis Nya*(CB)
Dennis was arguably Lobi Stars best defender last season,and was born on 8th February,1996. He hails from Ini LG of Akwa Ibom State and ha been assigned Jersey number 6. He scored the winning goal against Akwa United in Makurdi last season. He joins the team on a long term contract
16. *Etim Matthew*(RB)
Etim was born on 2nd September,1989. He’s from Ibeno LG of Akwa Ibom State. He was assistant captain of former league champions,Enugu Rangers and will wear Jersey number 4. He’s signed a two year contract with Akwa United and has Davide Zappacosta as his role model