Some notable sports groups in Oyo State have continued to praise the Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) for its promotion to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The groups showered the encomiums on the Oluyole Warriors in separate statements made available to newsmen on Sunday, in Ibadan.
The 3SC on Saturday regained promotion to the elite division of the Nigerian league, after securing seven points in the Nigeria National League (NNL) Super 8 playoffs in Enugu.
The club was relegated to the lower level NNL in 2017 and had since struggled to return to the NPFL, until last Saturday when it drubbed Ekiti United FC by 6-0 in the Group B Conference, defeated Bendel Insurance 3-0 and drew 1-1 with Remo Stars.
In its statement, the Oyo State Chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) felicitated the players, coaches, officials and the management of 3SC on their well-deserved return to the NPFL.
The statement jointly signed by its chairman, Niyi Alebiosu, and Secretary, Adewale Tijani, said the promotion of 3SC was not a fluke, as it applauded the players and ingenuity of Coach Edith Agoye for the achievement.
“It’s as a result of the determination of the players who recorded an unprecedented nine game winning streak and a year’s unbeaten run spanning 2020 to 2021,” it said.
SWAN also commended the team’s management, led by Alhaji Rasheed Balogun and ex-international, Dimeji Lawal, whose untiring efforts bolstered the morale of the team.
It also attributed the success of the Oluyole Warriors to the massive moral and financial support they enjoyed from Governor Seyi Makinde, who SWAN said was worthy of praise for his exemplary and benevolent leadership which had positively touched all aspects of lives of Oyo State residents.
“To be frank, this promotion being celebrated wouldn’t have been possible without the massive motivation and total support from the governor, who has been their number one fan in the past two years.
“Aside from funding the team adequately, the governor also remodelled the home ground of 3SC, Lekan Salami Stadium, to ensure fans and lovers of the round leather game enjoyed good football.
“We thank the governor for putting smiles on the faces of youths, athletes and sports lovers in the state, through his laudable development of sports, as well as motivation of officials,” SWAN said.
The association urged government and other stakeholders not to relent, but see the promotion as the restoration of the club’s lost glory.
“We enjoin the management of 3SC to see the promotion to the NPFL as a way to return the club to its former glorious position as one of the best teams in Africa,” it added.
The Crown Football Club of Ogbomoso also congratulated the governor on the promotion of 3SC to the NPFL.
The club, in a statement signed by its acting General Manager, Kunle Oyeleye, said the governor had proved that he could accomplish any task in this world.
“Shooting Stars-cum the entire South-western Nigeria had longed for a space in the country’s highest football category for quite some time. Until now, when the sports-loving governor came with his Midas touch, the dream had been elusive.
“It is crystal clear that the governor is the impetus and motivation for this wonderful achievement as he has done in other sectors in Oyo State. We are proud of the governor,” it said.
It lauded Alhaji Rasheed Balogun, 3SC General Manager, for bringing to bear his expertise as a long-standing football administrator on the Ibadan soccer outfit.
“The 3SC team has shown their class in the comity of football teams in Nigeria and their Ogbomoso brothers, the Ajilete Warriors.
“We are proud and we stand shoulder high for their unrelenting effort at bringing the honour this time when both teams are receiving deserving attention from the governor,” the statement said.
Similarly, the Oyo State chapter of the Nigeria Football Coaches Association (NFCA) also congratulated 3SC on its well-deserved promotion to the NPFL.
The association, in a statement signed by its chairman, Festus Adegoju, rejoiced with Agoye, their members and 3SC’s coach, for climbing to the premiership rung of the Nigerian league.
It appreciated the governor for his unflinching support to the team, saying that there was, however, more work to be done by all stakeholders.
“We earnestly pray that he succeeds while the team gets there. We appreciate the team’s efforts, technical crew, backroom staff, the Football Association and the state governor.
“I also appreciate my colleagues who unendingly torture Agoye’s tactical thinking with coaching advise. Here we are, but more work to do,” the NFCA statement said