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NNL rat race begins

15 May 2015, 13:59

Lagos - Thirty two teams across the country begin the race for promotion to the Glo Premier League from the Nigeria National League which is the second structure of domestic football in the country.

Due to financial constraint the structure adopted is a departure from the two groups of 16 teams played last season as participating teams have been spread into four groups.

At the end of the contest the leading teams in the four groups will be promoted to the Premier League.

It's a winner-takes-all contest so expect a fierce race for glory.

Action begins on Friday, as former top dog, Bendel Insurance, embark on a road trip to Atiba, which is one of the new teams in the league.

Interestingly, the NNL is home to Insurance and Mighty Jets, two of the oldest teams in Nigeria's league history.

Matches will also be played on Saturdays and Sundays.

Also read: NNL warns club against delayed registration

Ahead of the kick-off, supersport.com examines the new teams, contenders and outsiders for the race.

Promoted from Nationwide League

After excelling at the amateur cadre, six teams: Atiba, Bussdor United, Ikorodu United, J. Atete, Court of Appeal and Yobe Desert Stars, have joined the NNL.

For Yobe Desert Stars and Bussdor, it's a return to the NNL following their relegation in 2013.

Back in 2002, Yobe Desert Stars reached the defunct Coca-Cola FACup finals, but lost to defunct Julius Berger.

That remains Yobe's best achievement till date as the club has since become a yo-yo.

Another team returning to the NNL is Court of Appeal. However, the club will have to continue life without their youngster, Jimoh Oni, who is flourishing at Premier League side, Heartland.

Oni made a goal scoring debut for Heartland at Shooting Stars and has added a second goal.

The trio of Atiba FC, J. Atete and Ikorodu United FC are set for their debut.

Unlike Atiba and J. Atete, Ikorodu United acquired the franchise of Kaduna Bees.

Julius Atete, proprietor of J. Atete is confident his side will continue the journey to the Promised Land.

"Our target is to play in the Premier League next year", Atete said to supersport.com.

Peharps, Atete's 3-1 annihilation of Premier League log leaders, Sunshine Stars, in the Federation Cup, is an indication of their fire-power.

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- SuperSport


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