Their actions might sound like medicine after death, but the renewed feeling at the camp of relegated Crown Football Club is to end the 2013-2014 Glo Nigeria Premier League season on victory note.
Crown Football Club of Ogbomosho will Sunday battle Akwa United in a Match Day 38 game to end their campaign in the Premier League at Adamasingba Stadium, Ibadan.
Although, the last game of the season will formally round off a disappointing season for the Ogbomosho side, Crown FC have vowed they won’t leave the top flight with their heads bowed. Their ultimate aim is to defeat Akwa United.
Following the suspension of Skipper Segun Ayo, Assistant Captain Bode Daniel is anticipating a victorious outing as he steps in to lead Crown against Akwa United this weekend.
“We have been training twice a day for the last match of the season, and our plan is to beat Akwa United. To me, the season has not ended until we have played our last match on Sunday”, Daniel told eyeonthesports.com.
Amongst the motivating factors for Crown FC was the payment of three-month salary arrears by management of the team, and their determination to win the last game of the season to “thank the darling fans of the club for staying with us despite our troubled season”.
Crown FC, who struggled with funding crisis for greater part of the season, lost five consecutive matches from Match Day 33-37, garnered just 36 points from 37 matches to place 19th in the 20-team NPL table, making Sunday’s match against Akwa United a mere formality no matter the score line. Their opponents on Sunday, Akwa United are comfortable in the 13th position with 51 point.
The NPL standing confirmed Crown FC for relegation alongside Kaduna United and Nembe City, while either of Gombe United, Bayelsa United or El-Kanemi will join the teams due for the drop after weekend’s matches.
Crown FC’s very poor season got to the climax when they lost their Match Day 34 tie by three un-replied goals at home to Rangers International on Sunday, 19 October.
Four days after they were disgraced by the Antelopes in Ibadan, Crown went ahead to put up their poorest performance of the season against Warri Wolves, losing by a scandalous 7-1 score line at the Warri Township Stadium.
As if that was not enough, on Match Day 36, Crown again lost 0-1 at home to Abia Warriors in Ibadan, and capped their string of losses with a 3-0 defeat by FC Taraba in the last but one match of the season.
The series of poor results recorded by Crown FC, especially their shameful loss to Warri Wolves however triggered an indefinite suspension of Skipper Segun Ayo and some key players of the club.
Oyeleye Oyekunle, Crown FC’s Media Chief told eyeonthesports.com that the club management was forced to suspend Captain Ayo and some of his teammates including two or three defenders and a goalkeeper for “the disappointing character they put up in the encounter at Warri Wolves”.
“The club had some financial challenges to cope with during the course of the season including the new salary structure, and the management tried its best within its limited resources to keep the team afloat. Sadly, things did not work out as planned”, Oyekunle lamented.
For Coach Akeem Busari who was brought in to salvage Crown’s relegation worries after Lawrence Akpokona was given the boots, “things had almost gone bad by the time I came in”.
However, all is not lost for Crown as the players said they would be out to play for pride against Akwa United.
Yomi Olaoke, Sylvester Francis, Benson Omodukwu, Ali Aliu, Agunloye Lekan and highest goals scorer for the club Okafor are still available for the match against Akwa, which the players and technical crew plan to win convincingly before bidding Adamasingba Stadium, their adopted home ground bye on Sunday.