Best Deemua is one of the hottest, albeit unheralded prospects in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

Little known outside his immediate surroundings, the Rivers United starlet is highly rated by teammates, coaches and fans of the Port Harcourt club.

He made his debut in United’s 4-0 win over Kaduna United in the Federation Cup (Nigeria’s oldest football competition) last season and shone like a million stars.

The then 17-year-old slotted into the trequarista role saddled upon him by technical manager, Stanley Eguma with aplomb and dictated play in midfield with the guile of a veteran.

He provided the assist for a stupendous goal by Chinonso Okonkwo and was the overwhelming choice for man of the match (MOTM) award as United won at a canter at the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi.

Best was arguably United’s best performer in pre-season this year as head turning performances consistently characterized his appearances for last season’s NPFL runners up.

The 18-year-old finally got his chance in the big time on Sunday as he was given the nod to start Rivers United’s match day 17 NPFL game away to Gombe United.

It wasn’t exactly a debut to set the pulses racing as a psychologically-brittle Rivers United side struggled for fluidity and cohesion early on at the Pantami Stadium.

In the midst of all the chaos however, Deemua did show some sparks of magic and the consensus amongst many who saw the contest was that big things were to be expected from the ‘little man’ in the coming days.

He spoke to the official Rivers United website on his season’s debut and the difficult situation currently experienced by the club.

“I felt great playing my first game for Rivers United this season.

“We lost the game but I learnt a lot. We played very well but we failed to win.

“Now, we have to plan for our next game at home (against ABS FC)," he said.

United is in dire straits with wins recorded in recent weeks at a premium.

Deemua acknowledges that circumstances could have been happier and is calling on fans of the club to stand by the players.

“All hopes is not lost for now so I want to plead with the fans to continue supporting us.

“It is only with the support of the fans that we can (overcome this difficult period)", he said.

Rivers United is currently in 19th place in the 20-team NPFL standings with 15 points from their first 14 matches.