FORMER African Footballer of the Year, Victor Ikpeba, and Super Eagles' former captain, Peter Rufai, have predicted that newly promoted Ikorodu United FC would rule Nigerian football if the players remained focus.
Ikpeba was among top Nigerian internationals that graced the launch of the club at Ikorodu Town Hall on Thursday. Others were former Super Eagles' Captain, Peter Rufai, Ifeanyi Udeze, Waidi Akanni, Victor Agali and immediate past Enyimba FC coach, Kadiri Ikhana.
The Prince of Monaco, as Ikpeba is popularly called, took time to 'lecture' the players on the importance of discipline, hard work and commitment, just as he revealed that the club had what it takes to make the top four in their first appearance in the Glo Premier League.
"First, you must be united in all you do because without unity, it will be difficult to get results. Again, you must pay attention to your technical officials. Also create time to have enough rest for yourself," Ikpeba told the players.
Ikorodu United, which was founded in 2014, is among few clubs in Nigeria that is 100 percent privately-owned. The board is led by businessman, Adewunmi Ogunsanya, while the club is sponsored in the new season by GOtv Nigeria.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Chairman of Lagos Sports Commission, Deji Tinubu said he was excited to see Ikorodu United in the elite division, adding that the state would do everything possible to support them in the Glo Premier League.
Tinubu, who was represented by the First Vice President of NFF, Seyi Akinwumi, advised the club management to pay adequate attention to welfare of the players. Akinwunmi who is the Chairman of Lagos State Football Asoociation (LSFA), expressed the joy of the people and government of Lagos in seeing Ikorodu United and Mountain of Fire Ministries (MFM) Football Club flying the flag of the state in the elite league. ."
Former chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Nduka Irabor, also praised the management for doing what he described as professional steps in club management. To Irabor, the unveiling was unique in terms of packaging and organisation.
The players and coaches of the team, uniformly dressed in black suit with red ties, were introduced to the public after which, the home and away jerseys were launched.
The club chairman, Ogunsanya and other members of the board described the promotion of the club to the elite league as a teamwork from the board, the coaches, players and the teeming fans, who stoutly believe in the vision of the founders of Ikorodu United.
Ogunsanya stated that Ikorodu United would take the Glo League by storm with series of innovations that will change the face of Nigerian club football.
One of such innovations, he said, is the plan to rebrand the home venue of the club, Onikan Stadium, with intention of bringing back the lost glory of the stadium on Lagos Island. He also disclosed that Ikorodu United would be run professionally as it is being done in the advanced leagues in the world.
"We want to have a situation where the stadium will be filled by 12 noon for a match scheduled for 4.00 pm. Football is a big business and we want to teach Nigerians how best to make business out of the round leather game," he said.