Rabiu Ali (right) and Kabiru Balogun of Kano Pillars celebrate a goal

NPFL Team of the Season

The 2016/2017 Nigeria Professional Football League season came to a fitting close on Saturday, September 9, 2017.

Predictably, Plateau United emerged champions with MFM of Lagos taking the second position while Enyimba finished the campaign on third spot.

Scorenigeria.com.ng who covered the league extensively here picks an unbeatable Team of The Season made up of outstanding and consistent performers.

Goalkeeper:

Dele Ajiboye (Plateau United)

The former Nigeria U17 and U23 shot stopper kept an impressive 12 clean sheets as Plateau United clinched a first-ever NPFL crown. He has been duly called up to both the home-based Eagles as well as  the Super Eagles and it is now up to him to take his chance. He is calm, agile and experienced.

Dele Ajiboye

Defenders:

Osas Okoro (Enugu Rangers)

Skillful player who has made a big success of his switch from right wing to right fullback at Rangers. He can continue to improve his smart play and he could then start aspiring to challenge for the problematic right fullback position in the Super Eagles.

Daniel Itodo (Plateau United)

Left fullback with the longest throw-in in the NPFL. His throws were a deadly weapon for Plateau United to hurt opponents to telling effect.

Stephen Eze (FC Ifeanyiubah)

Giant central defender who has continued to improve in leaps and bounds so much so he was placed on standby for the World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon this month.

Afeez Aremu (foreground) and Stephen Eze have both enjoyed great seasons and so their Eagles chance

Olamilekan Adeleye (FC Ifeanyiubah)

Strong and athletic centre-half who captained the billionaire club this past season. He oozes the confidence to also join the attack.

Midfielders:

Afeez Aremu (Akwa United)

The youngster played in 35 matches as his club chased the championship till the final weeks of the campaign. A box-to-box midfielder who is capable of  even more in the coming years.

Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars)

Experience is the best teacher and the Kano Pillars skipper  already has a very important admirer – Eagles coach Gernot Rohr. He scores goals and has the vision and the guile to create for others to also score.

Destiny Ashadi (Katsina United)

Intelligent central midfielder who weighed in with five goals and seven assists for Katsina United to stay up in the top league after they won promotion the previous season. He will be the complete player if only he could add some defensive responsibilities to his game.

Alhassan Ibrahim (Akwa United).

‘Muazzam’ scored 12 goals mostly from midfield to be noticed by Eagles coach Rohr. Sleek, intelligent and versatile.

Strikers:

Tony Okpotu (Lobi Stars)

Goal King with 19 goals. He is strong, experienced and knows his way to goal. He has also proved over the years to be a consistent scorers capable of double digits season after season.

Stephen Odey (left) in action for MFM in the NPFL

 Stephen Odey (MFM FC)

His 18 goals helped MFM FC to finish as runners-up after they barely escaped relegation the previous season. He has grown both as a player and a person.

 

TEAM OF THE SEASON (4-4-2)

Goalkeeper: Dele Ajiboye (Plateau United)

Defenders: Osas Okoro (Enugu Rangers), Daniel Itodo (Plateau United), Stephen Eze (FC Ifeanyiubah), Olamilekan Adeleye (FC Ifeanyiubah).

Midfielders: Afeez Aremu (Akwa United), Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars), Destiny Ashadi (Katsina United), Alhassan Ibrahim (Akwa United).

Attackers: Tony Okpotu (Lobi Stars), Stephen Odey (MFM)

Subs: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC Ifeanyiubah), Ndifreke Effiong (Abia Warriors), Bolaji Sakin (Rivers Utd), Stanley Dimgba (Enyimba), Nasiru Sani (Katsina United), Emeka Atuloma (Rivers United), Kingsley Eduwo (Lobi Stars)

Coach: Kennedy Boboye

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