Bendel Insurance Football Club is a Benin-based club with a rich history and deep roots in Nigerian football.
Also named Insurance of Benin, or the Benin Arsenal, it has been in the doldrums of Nigerian football but resurrected from the dead in recent years.
After many years in the lower division, Bendel Insurance gained promotion back to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) in 2021/22.
Insurance of Benin finished top of its group in the abridged version of the 2022/23 season. However, they failed to pick a continental ticket after they finished fifth in the Super Six playoffs. They secured three draws and two defeats.
After a fantastic season that saw them go on a record, 21-game unbeaten run, Bendel Insurance was fortunate to pick the CAF Confederation Cup ticket. The Benin Arsenal defeated fierce rivals Rangers International of Enugu 1-0 in the final of the Federation Cup.
Their first match comes up against ASO Chlef of Algeria.
Bendel Insurance Stadium – Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium
— Akwa United FC (@AkwaUnited_fc) March 28, 2023
Bendel Insurance has its home in Benin, and they host their home matches at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium. The multi-purpose facility was first known as Ogbe Stadium. The arena received its name after a former governor of Bendel State.
The stadium has a capacity of 20,000 and has hosted many events. It underwent a refurbishment by the Governor of Edo State in 2020 and hosted the Super Eagles match against Sierra Leone in November 2021.
Before its refurbishment, the Samuel Ogbemudia was banned by the National League because it was not up to league standards.
Bendel Insurance coach – Monday Odigie
🎙️Finidi TM of Enyimba fc,
– Ogunmodede TM of Remo Stars,
– Odigie TM of Bendel Insurance are nominated For NPFL Coach Of The Year..
— BROADCASTER FOR NPFL 🎙️🎙️⚽️⚽️🦍🦍 (@NINO_Rollanoda1) July 17, 2023
Monday Odigie is the coach of Bendel Insurance. The Benin outfit gaffer is no stranger to Nigerian football. He has his roots in Benin. Odigie also has a rich history with the Under-17 national team. He is proficient at working with youth players, which is evident in his management of Bendel Insurance.
The bulk of his squad are young talented boys whom he has groomed well. He led the team to promotion in the 2021/22 season and was in charge as they went on a 21-game unbeaten run. He brought the 44-year trophy drought of the Benin Arsenal to a halt with the Federation Cup win over arch-rivals Enugu Rangers.
Bendel Insurance coach Monday Odigie received an improved contract with the Benin Arsenals after their stellar performance last season.
— Opta Nigeria (@OptaNGR) July 22, 2023
Imade Osarenkhoe was the top scorer of the Benin Arsenal with eight goals in the league. The tally by the 22-year-old was enough to see him finish third on the top scorers' chart. Imade Osarenkhoe also scored the winning goal in the Federation Cup final as Bendel Insurance beat Enugu Rangers 1-0.
Ismael Seriki is another fine performer for the club. The striker contributed six goals to the cause for his team.
Nwachukwu Divine is a talented goal-scoring midfielder. He bagged four league goals last term. The performance by the talented youngster earned him a call-up to the national team for the tie against Sierra Leone.
The salary scale of Bendel Insurance players ranges from the least paid to receive N150,000 monthly to the highest earner going home with N350,000.
Bendel Insurance has signed Tamara Ezekiel from the Oluyole Warriors Shooting Stars Sports Club. The details of the deal are still unknown.
Done deal 👍 📝
— Andrew Randa (@RandaAndrew) August 1, 2023
Former Enyimba, Rivers Utd and Shooting Stars midfielder Kelly Kester joined Bendel Insurance a few days ago.
Bendel Insurance started preparations for their tie against Aso Chlef with a training camp in Lagos. They are temporarily in the Badagry area of the state.
In a friendly, they played a goalless draw against Kwara United on Wednesday.
Bendel Insurance has a shirt sponsorship deal with Sterling Bank. The initial contract was worth N50 million. Sterling Bank renewed its relationship with the club earlier this year with an improved deal worth N75 million.
Bendel Insurance has a feeder team called Insurance Feeders. They also played in the Federation Cup last season but were knocked out by Lobi Stars.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago