Ex Nigeria internationals, Finidi George and Eddy Dombraye are poised to make their NPFL coaching debut as the 2021-2022 season kicks off on 17 December.
Finidi, an established former Super Eagles winger, recently took over the coaching reins at at Enyimba while Dombraye stepped into the saddle at Lobi Stars FC of Makurdi.
Finidi, who replaced Fatai Osho has already secured plausible results with Enyimba in the CAF Confederation Cup while Dombraye has done same with Lobi Stars in pre-season games, but what is left to be seen is how way they can navigate a terrain they once excelled as players and which many ex internationals have found quite slippery as coaches.
According to the fixtures released Wednesday by the league organising body, League Management Company, matchday one will see champions Akwa United host Kano Pillars at Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo while newly promoted sides, Gombe United and Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan will lock horns Patanmi Stadium in Gombe.
New Lobi Stars coach, Eddy Dombraye will test the waters as his team entertain Rivers Rivers United at Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi.
Same way new Enyimba coach, Finidi George will cut his NPFL teeth as the People’s Elephant host neighbours, Abia Warriors in the first Oriental derby of the season at Enyimba International Stadium in Aba.
Rangers international of Enugu will be guests of Katsina United, .Niger Tornadoes will welcome Plateau United at their Ahmadu Bello Stadium temporary home ground, Sunshine Stars will face their former manager Kabiru Dogo and Fuad Ekelojuoti as they host Wikki Tourists at the Akure Township Stadium.
It will battle royale in Ilorin, where Kwara United will once again try to make a flying start against Dakkada. The Afonja Warriors led the standings from the outset of last season before being overtaken by eventual winners, Akwa United on the home stretch.
MFM FC will host regional rivals and newcomers, Remo Stars at the Agege Stadium in Lagos while Aiteo Cup runners-up, Nasarawa United will travel to Owerri to face Heartland.
MATCHDAY ONE FIXTURES
Gombe United v Shooting Stars Sports Club
Akwa United v Kano Pillars
Lobi Stars v Rivers United
Katsina United v Rangers International
Enyimba v Abia Warriors
Sunshine Stars v Wikki Tourists
Niger Tornadoes v Plateau United
Kwara United v Dakkada FC
MFM FC v Remo Stars
Heartland FC v Nasarawa United