- Published on Wednesday, 11 January 2017 18:13
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By Joshua Tekidek
Godwin Obaje took the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) by storm last season and ended as the top scorer with 19 goals for Wikki Tourists that finished in third place under coach Abdu Maikaba. It opened the door for offers and not surprisingly, he grabbed one and left for pastures abroad.
Maikaba also moved away and a new sheriff, Mohammed Baba Ganaru is in Wikki as the coach and his reaction to the departure of Obaje has been that a new Obaje will be discovered.
"Last two seasons around this time, Obaje was nobody, I think he was just an underdog that the team brought and developed. Nobody is indispensable, we have made very good replacement.
"We have some tested players and we also have some who have potentials that are ready to make names for themselves," said Baba Ganaru to www.npfl.ng.
He also has been discussing the perceived big shoes left by former manager, Maikaba and the fans’ expectations.
While admitting that his predecessor left him a high standard of performance to match, Baba Ganaru says he can deliver results that will satisfy the fans and his employers. He added that he will not lose sleep over the challenge but would do all that is necessary to achieve success.
The team ended in fourth place two seasons ago and improved on that last season with a third place finish under Maikaba.
However Maikaba left at the end of last season, paving the way for the management to engage Baba Ganaru while Mbwas Mangut from Heartland was employed to assist him.
The club also signed 10 players with the likes of Omo Johnson, Zikiye Jonathan, Bature Yaro and others. Forwards Victor Alegbe and Shammah Tanze returned from loan spells while five other players were promoted from the junior team.
There were also nine players who left, with forward Godwin Obaje the star departure, having emerged as top scorer last season.
With the 2016/17 season about to start, Baba Ganaru said he is aware of the expectations of the fans.
"I know the expectations are very high, the team has set a standard from the last two seasons, they did very well and on my own part I know the fans expectation.
"They should expect very good football, you know my philosophy and that I always play a passing game and we are going to do that.
"Our set objective is to finish either first or second which I know is the expectation of every Wikki supporter. I don't want to set any target for the continental outing because the team has been absent on the continent for a long time," he said.
Wikki will start the season with a home game against Nassarawa United this Sunday.
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