- Published on Monday, 15 May 2017 18:34
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By Wale Mustapha
Abubakar Bala has insisted he was extremely satisfied with Niger Tornadoes' business in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) mid-season transfer window saying the club prioritized 'quality' in the business.
The Niger Tornadoes coach believes that his current squad can compete against any team in the NPFL and register positive results.
Experienced defender, Reuben Ogbonnaya arrived from Kano Pillars, Samuel Agba a striker was acquired from Gombe United, former Giwa FC and Wikki Tourists left-back El-Shittu Lawal came in from Akwa United after failure to secure a first team shirt with the Promise Keepers.
Other new imports to beef up the Ikon Allah Boys ahead of the second stanza of the apex league include striker Yakubu Auta from El-Kanemi Warriors. Former Under-20 goalkeeper Kazeem Yekeen was also brought in from El-Kanemi to bring competition in the goalkeeping department and Malachy Ilo from Nasarawa United completed the new intakes for Tornadoes.
Bala admitted it was a busy transfer window for his side who want to maintain their top half target in the league front and make a remarkable statement in the Federation Cup.
While the second round of NPFL is less than a week from now, the Tornadoes coach says his club have done business smartly.
"I am happy with our signings and the entire squad as it is. We've been very decent and direct with our business, lots of players wanted to join us but we are only interested in quality and technically sound players that can help us get better in the second round.
"We had other players in mind before the closure of window but I'm satisfied with those we've got. We also had other players available but we had to maintain our policy of signing quality players. I believe we've used what we have to get what we want," he asserted.
"Our major challenge is attack, especially scorers and backup for defence. Ogbonnaya suits what we wanted, he's a leader in defence and have league experience. Shittu Lawal will give us better options in left back position and we all know what Kazeem (Yekeen) can do as a goalkeeper which is why we brought him to create better competition in that department.
"Agba, Auta and Malachy meet up with what we need in a striker and I hope they will give us goals to help us the season the way we want it," Bala told npfl.ng
When asked to talk about Niger Tornadoes' title and continental ambition at the end of the season, Bala remained unchanged with his earlier targets of finishing in top half of the NPFL.
"You know I always stand on my words. I'm still keeping it and maintaining it, if we end the season in the top ten I will be happy and celebrate the season.
"Yes, we are number four now which is good for us and our confidence going into the second round, but anywhere in the top half will cap a good season for us," the soft-spoken tactician said.
Niger Tornadoes will kick start their second round of NPFL with a trip to the Pyramid City to take on Kano Pillars on May 21.
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