- Published on Tuesday, 28 March 2017 21:24
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By Uchenna Iyoke
El-Kanemi Warriors leading goal scorer Samuel Mathias believes that the club’s modest success so far in the 2016/17 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season is being driven by a strong winning mentality.
A 1-0 win on Sunday against Lobi Stars steadied their stay in the top-three and meant the Maiduguri club have continued their 100% run on home turf since returning in April last year to the city after nearly two seasons playing away from home.
Mathias had capitalized on a loose ball to blast home the lone goal on 84 minutes, was voted man-of-the-match and in a feel good mood after the match, he told www.npfl.ng that: "We are a team with courage, that is why we kept the push until that goal came. It was a very tough game as the Lobi boys gave us a fight never expected and I thank my team mates for their belief and this goal is a gift worth sharing by everyone in the squad. I hereby dedicate my man of the match award to the entire team."
The midfielder has scored a brace on two occasions against Sunshine Stars and Gombe United and provided the assist for Hussaini Bata to score their only goal at Abia Warriors in a memorable away win.
It was a performance that earned Mathias a nomination for the February League Bloggers Awards though he lost the MVP gong to Sunday Adetunji of Abia Warriors. His goal against Lobi Stars makes it eight for the attacking midfielder, four short of current top scorer, Stephen Odey of MFM FC with 12 goals.
Mathias played down suggestions of having an eye on emerging the league’s top scorer, insisting it is not his priority. Yet, he admits that it is an honour and an admirable feat for any footballer.
"I am not so much focused on who is the top scorer, neither am I keen to make it a mandatory quest. I am only concerned with how to help my team make history, which is winning the title or at least be among the continental teams," volunteered Mathias.
He continued: “We all saw how Rangers International did last season, it was more like a joke until they gradually lifted the crown. Our confidence is growing and we are steadily moving towards the stage of true title contenders, very soon our name will scare any team in the Nigerian top flight."
As expected Mathias has become the toast of fans of the club for his goal scoring exploits and he reckons that missing out on February LBA won by his former team mate, Adetunji Sunday has challenged him to keep working hard.
"I will keep working hard, until the future spells it well for me. Maybe someday I will definitely win the League Bloggers Awards," the El-Kanemi man said.
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