HiFL 2018: Coaches Count Gains Of New Football League
The maiden edition of the Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL) has come and gone with lots of memories to live with.
The tournament, which kicked off in August, ended on November 3, 2018 when University of Agriculture Makurdi known as UAM Tillers defeated University of Calabar, a.k.a Unical Malabites 5-4 on penalties.
The game had ended goalless at regulation time, and went straight into penalty shootout, with Prince Imo failing to convert his shot to gift UAM Tillers the maiden title at the Agege stadium in Lagos.
Coach of UAM Tillers, the only female tutor in the tournament, shared her experience, and the changes she looks forward to in the next edition.
“It was not easy, like when we went to Maiduguri, we were disappointed with the pitch the university had, but we hold them to a draw, they came to us, we defeated them.” She told Bounce News.
“We went to Jos, we drew with UniJos, they came to us we beat them.
“It was OAU that defeated us 5-3 due to poor officiating, but we beat them too when they came to us. It has not been easy, but we thank God we were able to get to the final and win the cup.
“The improvement I want in the next edition, is for the organisers to be able to supervise the facilities which always contribute to the outcome of any game. Like when we went to Jos, we could not play in the campus because of some issues.
“But we appreciate the organisers because this HiFL has really boosted the morale of our players. Before now, it was only NUGA Games we used to partake in.
“This is the first edition of the tournament, and it really involved the student, and they had a consistent competition between August to November.
“Money is not everything, this HiFL has really showcased our players, especially those who want to play football professionally.”
For coach Manuel of Unical Malabites, it was not easy too, but something keeps motivating him and his team.
“The journey has not been easy but the joy that we are developing talents has been the motivation keeping us going till the final.
“I have monitored a lot of competition in this country. And I really thank HiFL for this initiative, they should try and improve on it in the next edition.”
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