As the stage is now set for the commencement of the 2013/14 Nigeria National League (NNL) season, football stakeholders in Ibadan have expressed the belief that Oyo State’s darling team, Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC), will return to the elite league at the end of the season.
The Oluyole Warriors got demoted to the NNL last season after a turbulent campaign in the top flight, no thanks to internal wrangling, which had crippled the club for most part of the 2012/13 season.
But the appointment of Mr. Rasheed Balogun as the General Manager of the club has received the blessings of many stakeholders, who are of the opinion that the team needed a technocrat to reposition it and are therefore pleased that the state government through the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Umar Farrouk Alao went for a football manager of Balogun’s standing.
Former team manager of Julius Berger and immediate-past team manager of Sunshine Stars of Akure, Balogun comes with a high reputation. The former Dolphins of Port Harcourt General Coordinator, Balogun, is fondly called Ekulekule by friends and admirers.
From the staff and players of the club, its supporters and fans to various groups, the state football association, state council of the referees association and the media in Ibadan, Balogun is getting full support.
Some members of staff of 3SC spoke of how happy they had been since Balogun’s arrival at the club, saying things had not been this good.
They said with his wealth of experience and his plans for the season, 3SC would soon become the team to beat in the Group B of the NNL.
Meanwhile, Balogun has held consultative meetings with various stakeholders, telling them of his plans for the team and seeking their support and cooperation even as the club gets set for hostilities, which commences this weekend.
He said: ‘’I have been having meetings with everyone concerned and that is important in order for me to let them know what I am here for and to tell them that without their support, there is no way success could be achieved.
‘’I am very happy with the responses of virtually everybody and with that, I see 3SC reclaiming its premier league status next weekend, with God on our side and with unity, we will get there.’’