Akwa United drop 9 players, name new coach Monday

By Promise Etim

Ahead of the start of the 2018/19 Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) season, Uyo-based side, Akwa United have dropped nine players from the squad of last season and will, on Monday, unveil a new head coach.

Disclosing this during a media briefing, chairman of the side, Elder Paul Bassey, hinted that the decision to drop the players was based appraisal of their performance and needs assessment of the club, stressing that the club will not renew contract of the affected players.

“We are starting another season. I believe we are prepared. We have dropped nine players. We are resuming on Sunday and will resume training on Monday,” he said.

The players released are Isamila Shagari, Ayobami Asekunowo, Kelly Kester, Katoh Haggai, Adeshina Gata, Aminu Nuhu, Franklin Ekong, Edem Akakatang and Boniface Matthew.

Bassey also revealed that the club will unveil their new head coach on Monday, after negotiation is completed.

Akwa United have been without a head coach following the departure of Abdu Maikaba to Plateau United at the expiration of his two-year deal, but Bassey admitted finding a suitable replacement for Maikaba has been tasking.

“Finding a coach in Nigeria could be difficult. Nearly every coach in this country want to coach Akwa United, even within the state (Akwa Ibom). We received many applications. But as a team, we have already decided that we will not sign a coach that has duty with any national team, because we can’t afford to stay weeks without him, especially in an abridged league season,” he added.

Bassey’s reaction, when asked of choice of coach for the team, suggested the club have settled for a foreign technical adviser, a position he probably confirmed during the briefing.

“We have until Friday to get a coach, and we will unveil him on Monday. It’s a new terrain for him,” Bassey hinted.

Feelers from sources close to club, informed that the ‘Promise Keepers’ may have settled for a top name in the Ghanian Premier League.