NPFL announces Team of the Month initiative

NPFL announces Team of the Month initiative
Credit: Icon Sport

The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) is taking grand steps to ensure this season does not go the way of past seasons.

The management body of the league is aware of how much stick the previous board took and has set plans afloat to ensure this is the best season of the NPFL.

The first step taken was the postponement of the kickoff of the league.

The NPFL season was due to start on August 26, but according to the present board, they want to prevent a situation where teams participating in continental competitions have outstanding matches.

It has led to the postponement of the league kickoff by two weeks.

The latest move by the present board is the NPFL team of the month.

According to the board, the idea is to motivate players and coaches to be innovative and creative to produce better quality in the league.

It is a noble idea with hopes it does not go the way of other fantastic innovations for the league. The NPFL has thus set up a committee to oversee the monthly affairs of picking the team.

NPFL Team of the Month committee

The board of the NPFL is getting proactive and is gearing towards giving followers of the Nigeria Premier Football League a memorable season.

The initiative to pick a Team of the Month is a move that is striking the right chords in various quarters.

The board has also selected a team of veteran sportsmen and administrators to oversee this noble objective.

In a letter signed by the Chief Operating Officer Davidson Owumi, the head of the committee is Board Member and former International, Daniel Amokachi.

Amokachi, a former Everton striker, has been in and around the top echelons of the football industry and should bring his experience to bear on the job.

Others on the board include veteran journalists Mitchell Obi, Deji Omotoyinbo and Segun Agbede as members.

The other members of the Committee are NFF Technical Director Austin Eguavoen and former national coaches Manu Garba and Godwin Uwua.

Others on the committee are the Chairman of the Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria Task Force, Harrison Jalla and Davidson Adejuwon, a former Director of the defunct NPFL side, MFM.

How the NPFL Team of the Month will work

The committee has the duty of fishing out the best players in the country. It will help to make the job of the national team coaches easy.

They will watch the matches every week, pick a formation and select the best players of the month that fit into that formation.

The nine-member Technical Committee has an unenviable task of picking a Team of the Month comprising 11 players and a Coach with room for reserves that will complete a squad of 18.

NPFL Chairman Gbenga Elegbeleye hailed the initiative and said with the Team of the Week in place, league players would put in their best possible performance to make the squad for individual and collective benefits.

Coaches will also dig deep to provide creative ways to better their team and bring the best out of their players.

The Committee members received invitations to the 2023/24 NPFL season draw in Lagos on Thursday, August 17.

On a side note, different individuals and media organisations have tried to institute an NPFL Team of the Month. The idea didn't get enough traction.

The NPFL has taken an official stand on the idea and hopes that it gains traction. Hopefully, the initiative will enjoy sustained patronage.

The idea is not novel and is a practice in various European countries.

Can the NPFL Team of the Month get it right? The game needs to grow in Nigeria, and for that to happen, we hope this idea survives.

This article was most recently revised and updated 10 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter. Chooka has a passion for football and has been a fan of Enugu Rangers (over 30 years) and Real Madrid (Since 1996).