Now that we have an ultramodern stadium…

I am elated by the news of our stadium coming back to us in a brand new state. I used the picture for my laptop wallpaper, a colleague saw it and asked whether it was Stamford Bridge.

We’re looking all professional again. But something tells me that the joy we experience now will soon give way to the status quo. Pardon my pessimism.

I am even tempted to cast and bind the idea the normal Nigerian way. But no. We should talk about this. Really.

For the records, I am a huge supporter of the club, but I speak out when things aren’t in shape and that’s my intention here.

That last time I was at the stadium, I beheld strange sights that should never exist in a modern stadium, nay club of our pedigree and I will highlight a few.

The Restroom debacle:

In the final match of the 2014 season where we hosted Kano Pillars, I noticed we had no known rest rooms for the fans in the various stands.

I saw a visiting fan relieve himself beneath one of the stairs that led to that stand by the right side of the VIP stand.

Taking a tour through the back side of the stands, I saw mounds of dried human shit. Disgusting!

“Now that our stadium is modern”, we need neat rest rooms with working water supply for the fans to relieve themselves at each of the stands.

Ticketing system:

Imagine visiting Stamford Bridge and touts with flaming wraps of marijuana stuck between their two first fingers are selling you sub-standard tickets amidst shoves and chaos. That’s a normal scenario in our stadium during match days.

Now that we have a modern stadium, can we modernize our ticketing system. Let the fans purchase their match tickets online before-hand and bring the evidence to the stadium during match days.

Crowd management

If our stadium is an 18,000 capacity stadium, should we sell tickets to over 20,000 fans? That’s of course not including the ones that came in by knowing the guy at the gate.

We can do better by selling tickets according to the number of empty seats, then provide viewing areas within the stadium when the seats are gone. Then again, there should be proper and accurate accountability for these tickets. It’s about time we really stepped up our game and standardized things.

Sponsorship

It’s really baffling how a club of Enyimba’s status with a constant appearance on the Continent is unable to convince businesses to sign up with the brand. I may not know the efforts going on underneath, but the one thing we all see shows that we have failed in that regards.

Now that our stadium is modern, we need to hire a team of marketing professionals to set the ball rolling. Avenues should be set in motion to generate revenue for the club.

Our online platforms

I like many others, ordered for the club jersey on the online store since 2015, up till this moment that jersey is still AWOL.

Now that our stadium is modern, we need a befitting and working online store to go with it. One that will collect payments and deliver. One that doesn’t go AWOL.

Most pages on our website are still empty. The media team should get to work. If content is their problem. I am available.

See you later. ***Hands MIC over to @EnyimbaEnyi

This blog was written by Mr. Sopuru Egbodo. He is a content creator, web manager and social media guru. Please follow him on twitter via @theSopuruEgbodo

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Enyimba stadium makes history and somebody will win our 5K this week

Good morning Brethren,

The countdown is on as we ready to return home. It’s happening folks, it is so happening and today I’ll like to throw in some recent discovery that came to me a couple of days ago.

So we were in our Enyimba Whatsapp Group when the contractor handling the Enyimba stadium told us our Aba Stadium was the largest playing surface that FIFA had ever approved. It didn’t make a lot of sense to me and I’ve asked someone who did to explain it to us.

Before he does, I’ll like to give the question for our ThatEnyimbaFan giveaway this Friday. Remember your correct answer qualifies you for the finals on Twitter this Friday. Please submit your correct answer to thatenyimbafan@gmail.com. It’s important to heed the instruction. Any other answers anywhere else is disqualified.

Which of the following Nigerian greats never coached at Enyimba?

a. Daniel Amokachi

b. Augustine Eguavoen

c. Stephen Keshi

d. Amodu Shaibu

All the best.

So it’s 1.10am, I decided to check my tweeter page before I shut down for the morning as it were, unfortunately I got into this explanation about Enyimba’s Pitch Size and that was how i was hooked.

Earlier on Monday, there was this issue about the pitch size of my darling club Enyimba and how it holds the record of “the biggest playing surface” approved by FIFA/CAF.

In all honesty I wasn’t concerned and of course I waved it off as sham, but done with the days job, I wanted to be busy so I dug  into the earlier discussion.

Maybe, just maybe it could be true. You ask how I came about this? Relax, so you can digest this.

The first question that comes to mind is…where is the biggest playing surface in the world located? Now remember I am not talking the biggest stadium (in terms of capacity) in the world, that would be Rungrado May Day Stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea.

I am talking pitch size, playing surface, however you understand it…..so in Spain, the biggest stadium in my findings is the Martínez Valero stadium (Elche) with a pitch size measuring 108m x 70m, and In England the biggest is The City Ground (Nottingham Forest) 105m x71m and Hillsborough (Sheffield Wednesday) 106m x 69m, while in Italy my findings showed it is San Siro 105m × 68m and on and on.

But you ask what is Enyimba’s pitch size really? the contractor in the person Mr Egbi Egbe AKA Moni-Michelle says the pitch size is 110m x 74m making it the biggest I have seen so far in my short research…may be I will need to do more.

So is it safe to say Enyimba has the biggest pitch size approved by FIFA? Till I see another dimension bigger than that of Enyimba, may be we just have to make do with what we have.

Will that translate to Enyimba “flogging” some teams silly?  I sure do hope so. But in the meantime, can the people’s Elephant just come back to their fortress?

‘EnyimbaEnyi

Monday ramblings: Preparing for Djoliba

Good morning All!

So we didn’t blog yesterday; I got knocked out. It appears that certain responsibilities married people have, do have strong effects on them. Pause those dirty thoughts, I’m talking of loosing braids. Have you ever loosened a lady’s braids? Oh bro, It is by far, the most difficult task on earth. No jokes.

Anyway, I survived but then the cruel reminder that until the kids start coming, it’s gonna be part of my chores whenever Madam goes “a-braiding”. My wisdom will be to ensure that we explore lighter and easier hair styles for the time being. Amen.

Well guys, we ready for Match Day 5 in our Continental sojourn this season. We play Mali’s Djoliba in 13 Days in what is a make or break fixture for us. We sit in third position on the log, two points above the Malians whose qualification looks most unlikely of the quartet. To be honest, any two can still progress from our Group but someone needs an away win to help their cause.

This is why our August 19th fixture is beyond crucial. Hopefully we should be able to win our final game of the Group at home to CARA Brazzaville- it’s our first home game at the Aba Stadium and our fans should be in good voice on the day. But our forthcoming clash against Djoliba in Bamako, has everything resting on it.

The team has yet to play any more friendlies since the defeat away at Abidjan. And you would hope the management has plans of getting that sorted out in the near future because with the League in an indefinite break, Match fitness becomes a big concern. It does remind one of the gaffer’s post match conference views after that infamous game in Abidjan.

It was difficult for the players to maintain the same level of consistency throughout the game because of fitness issues,” Abdallah told the media.

“The long World Cup break is having its adverse effect on my players. We tried as must as possible to train and be ready for the game but we can’t compare that with having test games that will keep us ready and charged up.

We started the game very well and had a few opportunities to score but we were unable to convert them. We couldn’t cope for a long period because of fitness issues”.

If ever there were Grade A friendlies, now is the time to bring them on. You would think friendly games against the likes of Akwa United and Enugu Rangers could come in handy at this time. Hopefully the club can get this sorted. Staying fit for Djoliba is not debatable.

That’s all I’ve got strength for today.

Back tomorrow

‘EnyimbaEnyi

Emerging clues on when Enyimba will return home.

Good morning All!

When I write this, it does feel like I’m writing to a congregation of Enyimba fans and well wishers. Yet it’s just one person at a time who reads this. One person at a time. So maybe I shouldn’t be saying “Good morning All”, it should be “Good morning my guy”!

It’s Monday morning and I’ll try to keep this simple and straight. In the past few weeks, pictures have emerged of our brand new stadium. The reaction has been immense on social media especially on twitter where retweets, likes and such conversations have continued.

The relief is almost tangible, after what has seemed an eternity, from November 2015 after we has just won the League, going back home is very much within sights. It’s been long coming; the work had dragged and stuttered and the Aba faithful had been weaned of their team for nearly 3 years.

And while this has been a very difficult and disappointing wait, the images that have surfaced of the current state of the pitch are somewhat soothing. Then the next barrage of questions is the when? When do we return home? When can we have the team playing infront of their fans again?

Well, a couple of days ago, some news article emerged where a Commissioner for Information was quoted that the pitch will be ready for use by September and no longer in July. It was a little disappointing to hear especially seeing that the club would go to the Adokiye Stadium to play Williamsville.

Few days later, another post surfaced, this time by the contractor handling the job. He says to disregard the earlier post and that the CAF Confederations Cup against CARA will be played at the new stadium on August 29th. August sounds closer to July than September but look again, 29th August is 3 days away from September the 1st.

Today is 23rd July. In 9 days, it will be 1st of August. And toward the end of August, we should be “home and dry” according to this new information. It could get into September and while it’s disappointing, it still isn’t beyond what we can handle.

The thing is, redemption is getting closer and closer by the day. We can literally see the end of looking for where to rent.

Meanwhile, I think it’s about time we started to pray and fast and protest the no show of the league. Some unscrupulous humans want to hold the football community in Nigeria to ransom. May everyone reap a harvest of their evil- everyone at their level. Amen.

That’s your lot,

Back tomorrow

‘EnyimbaEnyi

Is the pressure getting to us? 

We don’t really know how many people Enyimba Stadium holds on game day. Some say 15,000, some say 20,000 while others even say 30,000. What we do know is that the fans pack out this stadium weekly and always are in full voices. Suffice to say, this is an intimidating ground, not just for the opposing players but more recently the Enyimba players too who have to bear the responsibility of fulfilling the expectations of thousands of fans and supporters. 


In an interview after the Enyimba vs Buffles du Borgou CAF Champions League first leg in which he missed a second half penalty, Enyimba midfielder Nzube Anazemeba made some interesting revelations. 

“To be honest with you, I am very relieved. I thank God. This is my first cap in the Champions League and if we did not score the other two goals, maybe you will hear that I am in the hospital