Ohanu ready to roll up sleeves to save El-Kanemi’s season

By George Akpayen

El-Kanemi Warriors forward Michael Ohanu has told npfl.ng that he is keen to play a central role in the Maiduguri club’s bid to beat the drop this season in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

Currently occupying four places and just a point above the relegation zone, El-Kanemi are stil very much in danger of experiencing demotion like they did nine years ago when the top division ran an abridged format of two groups of mini-league.

Ohanu was just nine years old and barely knew anything about El-Kanemi when they were relegated in 2007 before they returned to the top division in 2013 after a six-year absence.

But the striker knows that the club have now stayed in the top-flight in the country in the past six years and even came close to finishing in the top-three last season. He is now buoyed by those facts to help the Maiduguri outfit keep their status for another season despite their struggles this term.

“Since I joined the club in mid-season, the coaches, my teammates and fans have been really warm to me. It has helped me settled down well in Maiduguri and I can say I have struck a fairly decent bond with the team.

“Unfortunately I joined them at a time they are struggling but as a professional football player all I want to do is give my best and make sure that the club remains in the top league. I know they have been in the top league for six years now and staying in it for the seventh year and more won’t be a bad idea,” said the Ohanu who joined from Kwara United.

The forward is also hoping he can keep up with his scoring form after netting thrice since completing his move to the northeast club, bringing his total for the campaign to four goals.

Ohanu, who netted 21 goals in the second tier — the Nigeria National League (NNL) — last term, explained that he feels he has got back his scoring groove after struggling to get off the mark while at Kwara United.

“I feel better and even more confident now having scored three times for my club. It wasn’t that my previous team was not good, but I think we were unfortunate not to win games and even score more goals because we played well in most of our games.

“But to be able to score goals with El-Kanemi is good for me as a striker and I hope I can get more when the league resumes after the World Cup,” he said.

Prodded on making an individual target for the season, the striker simply said: “I will prefer to take each game as they come and remain optimistic.”

El-Kanemi will resume their bid for survival with a tough fixture at four-time NPFL champions Kano Pillars and Ohanu hopes they can get “a favourable result” to put life into their race for escape.