Down the years, football has been gradually introduced into the academia at different levels and it has succeeded in producing graduates with footballing prowess. Right here in Nigeria, virtually all higher institutions have football teams that occasionally face off against each other in various competitions. However there has been some Universities whose football teams have proven to be indeed amongst the best in the land. They have the best crop of players, good football facilities, and most importantly, they’ve come out best in various University competitions in Nigeria. Though most schools are currently on break due to the pandemic, it poses no hindrance to us looking back and recognizing those higher institution teams who have been quite impressive down the years and till present. Here are the top five schools with the best teams in Nigeria:
1 UNICAL MALABITES (University of Calabar)
The University of Calabar fondly known as UNICAL, was established in 1975 and has been one of the most prominent universities in Nigeria. While they may be ranked as the 41st best University in Nigeria according to the National Universities Commission (NUC), they have arguably one of the best football teams in Nigeria, UNICAL MALABITES. The Malabites proved their high ranking status when they participated in the Higher Institution Football League (HIFL) and finished as runner-ups, in the 2018 edition and eventually winners in the 2019 edition. Coached by Mr. Moshood Oyefolarin, they have made a strong reputation for themselves with quality players like Ujah Christian, Osas Paul, Odey Santus etc. and definitely would be a fearsome side to watch whenever the NUGA competition comes around in the future.
2 UNIBEN ROYALS (University of Benin)
The University of Benin, popularly known as UNIBEN is no surprise addiction to this list. Their well-known football team, Uniben Royals is a team that cannot be overlooked. Though they may not possess the best of pitches, they boast of quite good starlets like Odion Daniel, Jude Oghale and so on. With an estimated student population of about 75,000, the UNIBEN Royals enjoy loads of fans support as students usually turn out in their numbers to watch their games. This is indeed a team poised for great things.
3 UNILORIN WARRIORS (University of Ilorin)
Unilorin is a university that prides herself as indeed one of the best institutions in Nigeria. Only few universities can stand at par with them when it comes to academic excellence. Their well-known brilliance also extends to their football as Unilorin Warriors, are beginning to make waves in major competitions like the HIFL. Coached by the popular Mr. Gambari, boys like Ahli, Ifabiyi, Akinyemi etc. have been total revelations so far. Unilorin boasts of quite standard facilities so it’s no magic their team is doing awesome things.
4 UAM TILLERS (Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi)
The Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi also known as UAM has been in existence since 1988. Their football team is one I can proudly boast of, especially because its peculiarity. UAM Tillers is special because it has a woman, Priscilla Vande as their head coach. Mrs Vande has led the UAM Tillers of Makurdi to contest a various top notch competitions like the West African University Games (WAUG), NUGA and the HIFL. UAM Tillers were the winners of the NUGA games (2017), winners of the HIFL (2018 edition) and runner-ups of the 2019 edition. UAM Tillers have made their home stadium a fortress where away teams regularly go out well beaten.
5 OAU GIANTS (Obafemi Awolowo University)
The Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) also popularly known as “Great Ife” finally completes the list. Arguably the best University in Nigeria, her football team is one of the formidable in the land. With their quite standard sports complex, particularly the always lush green pitch, OAU giants is no doubt among the big boys. Their style of football is just balanced and very compact with players like Toheeb Adebayo and Adeyemi Opeyemi standing greatly out. Semifinalists of the HIFL competition for two years running, OAU Giants are indeed stalwarts in the University community in Nigeria.
What are your thoughts? Did your University make the list? Do you believe the following teams are indeed worthy candidates? Do you know any quality team you believe ought to have been here? Drop your comments below. Don’t forget to hit the follow button.
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