MFM’s playmaker, Chukwuka Onuwa has expressed optimism that his Sportflames/MFM FC Player of the Year (POTY) award will spur him to greater success ahead of the club’s continental engagements next season.
Onuwa was voted by fans of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) as their Player of the Year for 2016/2017 season, following his immense contributions which had helped MFM return continental football to Lagos State after 13 years of non-appearance of teams from the state at continental competitions.
Speaking with The New Diplomat Onuwa, who was presented with the award before the match by owner and founder of 36 Lion Football Club of Lagos, Gafar Liameed in the presence of MFM Director, Emmanuel Adeyemi and Director of sportflames.com, Olatoye Olawale, said qualifying for the CAF Champions League is a dream come true.
“First of all I’ll say thank God for everything and I dedicate everything to God because it’s not easy. Even if we believe we will make it in the league this season. We’ve been on second position for quite a long time and God made it for us.
“I didn’t do anything different this season, that is football for you, everybody has their own opinion. But I believe God in everything and I thank Him for that. I dedicate this award to God, fans and the players because my teammates really contribute a lot for this success. My appreciation also goes to the media (press), you’ve been fantastic behind us.
“I believe this is a stepping stone in my career, I’ll make it very soon. Going into continent with this award is going to motivate me a lot and I thank the people that voted for me.
“Qualifying for Champions League is a dream come true, I always want to play against teams like Al Ally, Zamalek and other big teams on the continent. There is nothing that can’t happen in football and I’m ready for it, my team is ready for it. 13 years ago, Lagos have not received continental football and MFM has done it. We want to represent the country very well”, an elated Onuwa said.
The midfield maestro saw off competition from strike duo of NPFL top marksman, Stephen Odey and Sikiru Olatunbosun to claim the maiden edition of the POTY award.
Onuwa, according to the poll online that had close to 500 votes from the Olukoya Boys fans, pulled 56% of the votes.
Odey came in second place after he got 34% of votes followed by Olatunbosun 13.8%.
Director of sportflames.com, organizers of the award, Olatoye Olawale in chat with The New Diplomat saidhehad conceptualized the idea of celebrating local league players as a stimulant to challenge them to contribute more to the development of the Nigerian local league.
His words: “For decades Nigerians have developed great interest in what’s going on in foreign league and players with little or no attention paid to our indigenous league as well as players here, yet we often clamour for the development of the round leather game in the country.
“But, for us at sportflames.com, we believe it’s high time we begin to celebrate our own knowing fully well that such motivation could catapult them to global success and also contribute to football development in Nigeria,” Olatoye posited.
Meanwhile, MFM sealed its Champions league slot on Sunday as goals from Okorom Stanley and Tchato Giscard helped the Olukoya Boys defeated Nasarawa United 2-0 in one of the Nigeria Professional Footballers League match day 37 encounter at the Soccer Temple, Agege Stadium on Sunday to claim a deserved spot in the next edition of CAF Champions League.
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