Newly appointed Technical Adviser of Akwa United FC, Abdul Maikaba has said that he decided to leave Wikki Tourists of Bauchi to sign for the Uyo-based side to accomplish his quests to win trophies.
Maikaba who disclosed this during his official unveiling by the Uyo side yesterday, believes he can improve on the third position achieved for Wikki in the just concluded season, to win the Nigerian Professional Football league this coming season.
The former Enyimba manager told npfl.ng, he is looking forward to a rewarding season with the Promise Keepers, despite having to make what he described as the toughest decision of his life, by sacrificing continental football opportunity to challenge for the domestic trophy.
“My personal target is to win the league with the club. At Wikki Tourists, we finished third last season and fourth in the previous season. I see Akwa United as a very ambitious side with a massive support base. I look at the team as a team the Government has supported very well and what they need in return is glory.
“I came here first to see what they have on ground. I have done some homework and have already commenced training with the old players to enable me identify areas which we need to fortify. They have the best facilities in the country in terms of the stadium and training pitch and a very peaceful environment that will help me to work and achieve my target”, Maikaba stressed.
With previous stints at the defunct Sharks FC, Kano Pillars and FC Abuja, Maikaba said he will consolidate on what he has met on ground and make a few additions, to keep the team in good shape ahead of the new season. He however refused to dismiss reports that he will bring along to his new team some players he worked with at Bauchi.
“You cannot say you won’t bring in a player or two from your previous team to your new team, but you cannot take all players from the former team, it is not good for you as a coach and also the team. It will look as if the players are doing the work for you whereas it is the other way round. The essence of bringing in one or two of the players to the new group is to at least help pass your philosophy of playing to the other players. I have seen quality players at Akwa United FC that can produce a winning team. I am ready to work with them,” Maikaba added.
Known for his youth friendly policy in clubs he previously handled, Maikaba said he will be focused on developing younger players for the team as well as the country, while also pushing for laurels.
“I have succeeded in developing a couple of players. I started with Buffalo FC of Kano, where I produced the likes of Theophilus Afelokhai, Gambo Mohammed and Bello Kofarmata. They were the first set of players who won the league for Kano Pillars, though not with me. At FC Abuja, I produced players like Nosa Igiebor, Anthony Ujah and so many others. I left for Enyimba with only two players, Chinedu Udoji and Mustapha Musa, but developed many before I left.
“I will give more opportunities to younger players, most especially now that the League Management Company (LMC) has made provision for registration of players below 18 years of age, at any point of the season.
“We will keep encouraging younger players that are from the state, at the end of it, we hope to produce quality players not only for Akwa United FC alone, but as well as the national teams,” Maikaba told npfl.ng on a positive note.
Maikaba who signed a two-year deal was presented to the media and fans of the club.