The on going Governor Wike Pre-season Tournament is the biggest thing to happen to Nigerian football since the sport was shut down following the outbreak of COVID-19, coaches at the competition have said.
Some professional teams and amateur sides have been in Port Harcourt since last week battling for bragging rights in the competition aimed at keeping the teams in shape ahead of the kick off of the 2020/21 season.
Speaking on the import of the competition, MFM of Lagos coach, Tony Bolus, said the tournament has given him opportunity to access his team after losing some key players during the transfer window.
“It’s just work in progress for us,” the coach said.
“We have been working on the boys immediately after the lockdown and needed to come to a reputable place like this to test ourselves.
“The boys were decent against Bayelsa United, it’s a gradual process. Before the end of the pre-season, they should be where we expect them to be.”
For Lobi Stars coach, Kabiru Dogo, the championships afforded him to test several players amidst different formations against some solid teams like Akwa United and the rest.
Lobi Stars forced former AITEO Cup winner to a 1-1 draw on Sunday after defeating host, Rivers United 1-0 on the opening day of the preseason.
The former Sunshine Stars of Akure coach added: “I believe my wards are improving in every game and as you can see I introduced a new team today just to test the quality that we have.”
The chairman of the organising committee of the Governor Wike Pre-Season Tournament, Badawiy Bashir, said he was impressed with the performance of teams at the games.
“I’m impressed with what is going on in the tournament so far. If you watched the cracker between Akwa United and Lobi Stars at the weekend, it was a standard one.
“Other clubs have been putting in their best. We are very comfortable and happy with the standard so far. So many have changed and we are progressing and this year’s edition is far better than what we saw the last time.”
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