Naijadad List 2017: NPFL best XI of 2017

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Plateau United win 2017 NPFL

We pick the best player in each position from the NPFL in 2017

In 2017 we witness some brilliant individual performances in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

A defender who was a weapon for his team, strikers who scored goals for fun and midfielders who thrilled us every matchday.

We pick the best player in each position from the NPFL in 2017

Goalkeeper: Dele Ajiboye (Plateau United)

 

Who else but the goalkeeper that conceded the least number of goals in the 2016/2017 NPFL season. Dele Ajiboye kept goal for Plateau United, helping them to their first league title in history.

His impressive performances also earned him national team call-ups in 2017. He was also part of the home-based Super Eagles contingent for the 2017 WAFU Cup in Ghana.

Right-back: Daniel Itodo (Plateau United)

 

Another player from the impressive title-winning side of Plateau United, Daniel Itodo was one of the most exciting players of the 2016/2017 NPFL season.

Itodo was so good that he presented Plateau United with an extra weapon, tormenting opposition teams with his deadly set-piece and throw-in abilities. In over two seasons he has had more than 10 assists.

His efforts were crowned with the award of Best Defender by the League Bloggers Awards (LBA).

Central defence- Emmanuel Ariwachukwu (Akwa United)

 

Akwa United played some of the best football of the 2016/2017 NPFL season, a ball-on-the-ground style of play that won many admirers for the Abdu Maikaba-led side.

Emmanuel Ariwachukwu formed the rock of this team that impressed in the NPFL, finishing fourth and winning the 2017 Federation Cup.

Akwa United had the joint-third best defence in the NPFL last season, conceding just 30 goals and they have their vice-captain to thank for that.

Central defence: Stephen Eze (FC IfeanyiUbah)

 

Probably the best pound for pound defender in the NPFL last season, Stephen Eze’s reputation as a very good defender got wilder in 2017.

FC IfeanyiUbah disappointed in the NPFL last season on the back of huge expectations but Eze’s performances were clear to see.

He got even better for the Super Eagles Team B at the 2017 WAFU Cup marshalling the defence that only conceded in the final.

Left-back: Chima Akas (Enyimba)

 

One of the most popular players in the NPFL, Chima Akas has been a consistent performer in the Nigerian league for more than a year.

In 2017, he got even better, impressing for Enyimba FC who overcame early struggles to finish third in the NPFL.

The defender also played for Nigeria at the 2017 WAFU Cup and made the bench in the official Team of the Tournament.

Midfield: Ikechukwu Ibenegbu (Enyimba)

 

Another player from the Enyimba team who launched an impressive late title challenge. Ikechukwu Ibenegbu emerged as one of the best players in the 2016/2017 NPFL season.

He was voted the Best Midfielder at the 2017 League Bloggers Award (LBA).

Midfield: Chukwuka Onuwa (MFM FC)

 

While his teammates Stephen Odey and Sikiru Olatunbosun got all the attention, Chukwuka Onuwa was probably the most important player for the Olukoya Boys.

Every matchday- especially at home at the Agege Township Stadium- the diminutive playmaker was the centre of everything good about MFM FC who finished an impressive second-place in the NPLF last season.

Wing: Sikiru Olatunbosun (MFM FC)

 

Sikiru Olatunbosun’s magical goal for MFM FC in a 2-1 win over Enugu Rangers at the Agege Township Stadium in February 2017 will surely be the highlight of his 2017 but the skillful forward was also impressive all through.

He was part of an exciting MFM FC who under Fidelis Ilechukwu caught the eye of many with their impressive performance.

Blessed with nimble feet and strong left leg, the Lagos-born forward was a thorn in the flesh of defenders.

He also received national team call-ups in 2017.

Striker: Stephen Odey (MFM FC)

 

Stephen Odey scored goals for fun especially in the first half of the season, netting 18 goals for MFM FC before he earned a move abroad to FC Zurich in Switzerland.

From headers, to tap-ins to long range to penalties, the 19-year-old striker was simply devastating.

His goals helped MFM FC who maintained a title challenge with eventual champions Plateau United until the last day of the season.

Striker: Anthony Okpotu (Lobi Stars)

 

As brilliant as Odey, Lobi Stars’ Anthony Okpotu took advantage of the MFM FC striker’s mid-season move to FC Zurich FC to snatch the golden boot.

Okpotu scored 19 goals to finish the season as the highest goalscorer and also helping Lobi Stars to a sixth-place finish in the NPFL.

At the League Bloggers Awards, the Lobi Stars player was voted Striker of the Season and Player of the Year.

Wing: Peter Eneji (Plateau United)

 

In the midst of a slew of talented players that won the title for Plateau United, Peter Eneji stood out.

Eneji was discovered by Plateau United coach Kennedy Boboye while playing for an academy in Jos and in his first season in the NPFL, the youngster announced himself with a host of impressive and Man of the Match performance.

Playing from the left side of the Plateau United’s frontline, the winger created and scored goals with his mesmerising runs down the flanks.

Playing such a crucial in a title-winning team is no mean feat and the youngster did it with ease. He was named Best New Player by the League Bloggers Awards.

He was also in the Super Eagles Team B team for the WAFU Cup and was named Man of the Match for this performance in the 2-0 win over eventual champions Ghana in the group stage.

Coach: Kennedy Boboye (Plateau United)

 

Who else to lead the best players in the NPFL than the man that led Plateau United to the title, the first in their 42-year-old history.

Boboye’s Plateau United were very difficult to beat during the season, clinching the title on the final matchday.

His team finished the season with 66 points-19 wins, nine draws, 10 losses; scored 49 goals and conceded 25.

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My name is Jaramike Daniel a blogger with a vision, a programmer in the making, a web developer by hobby and a Nigerian by birth.. My dream is to inspire youths with passion in the tech aspect. I create and design websites for schools, Companies and Organisation... I can be reached through any of my social media listed below or whatsapp on +2348168210251

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