Completesportsnigeria.com continues the review of the outgoing year as ADEBOYE AMOSU highlights the memorable events, achievements and disappointments around the rapidly improving Glo Premier League…
ENYIMBA CELEBRATE SEVENTH TITLE
The Peoples Elephant ended Kano Pillars' dominance by winning a record seventh title. It was not an easy task though as they were pushed hard by the likes of Warri Wolves, Sunshine Stars and Wikki Tourists.
In the end, the Aba- based outfit survived the challenge and went home with the title.
Enyimba and Giwa FC enjoyed a fine run of form during the course of the campaign proving their class with their unbeaten streaks.
Giwa FC who narrowly missed out on picking a continental ticket were the first to go on a run. The Jos-based outfit went nine games unbeaten from March 22 to June 14. Kano Pillars ended that run by inflicting a 4-1 defeat on them at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano.
Enyimba equalled the feat, going unbeaten between May 5 and June 5. Warri Wolves beat the Aba Elephant 2-1 in Warri to end that run.
Kadiri Ikhana's men however went another unbeaten streak which lasted for 10 games. It was the longest unbeaten streak of the 2014/2015.
NASARWA UNITED, WIKKI TOURISTS, GIWA SHOW CLASS
With top sides like Heartland, Rangers and Shooting Stars failing to live up to expectations once again, the likes of Nasarawa United, Wikki Tourists and Giwa proved they are ready to take over the reins.
Nasarawa recovered from the disappointment of losing their experienced coach, Mohammed Babagaru, to Kano Pillars by securing a continental ticket.
Led later by the youthful tactician, Kabiru Dogo, the Solid Miners picked four wins on the road, one short of champions Enyimba who recorded five.
Wikki Tourists who make their return to the top flight after spending a couple of years in the National League topped the league at a point in the season and finished in a respectable fourth position.
Giwa FC also made the Rwang Pam Stadium a fortress and only missed out on a Confederation Cup ticket after losing 2-0 on the final day to Nasarawa United.
LARGE TURNOUT OF FANS AT MATCH VENUES
There was a remarkable improvement in fans attendance across some match venues as fans turned out in large numbers to watch their darling teams in action.
The Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan; Akwa Ibom Stadium, Uyo; Akure Township Stadium; Enyimba Sports Stadium and Sani Abacha Stadium recorded the highest turnout of fans during the season.
SALAMI EMERGES AS THE NEW GOAL KING
The battle for the top scorer gong was as interesting as the title race. Gbolahan Salami, Tunde Adeniji, Esosa Igbinoba, Bright Ejike, and Chisom Chikatara all fought hard to succeed Mfon Udoh as the new Glo Premier League goal king, but in the end it was Salami who won the honour after netting 17 times for Warri Wolves.
The forward went into his side's final game of the campaign against FC Taraba a goal behind Adeniji, but scored twice from the spot in the 5-1 rout of the already relegated Jalingo-based outfit to beat the Sunshine Stars hitman to the honour.
FALL OF KANO PILLARS
Not only did they dominate the league for the past three seasons, Kano Pillars went 202 games without tasting defeat at their slaughter slab, the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano.
Their home invincibility was however ended by Nasarawa United who beat them 2-1 on August 23.
The last club to beat the Sai Masu Gida before Nasarawa United ended that impressive run was Julius Berger on June 21, 2003.
MASS SACKING OF COACHES
Quite a number of coaches lost their jobs in the course of the 2014/2015 Glo Premier League season. Veteran tactician Solomon Ogbeide was the first to be booted out by Bayelsa United after a string of poor results.
Next was Franklin Howard who lost his job as head coach of Shooting Sports Club of Ibadan for the same reason.
He was replaced by Gbenga Ogunbote who helped turn the fortune of the team around as well as securing their top flight status.
Other coaches who lost their jobs are Kelechi Emeteole (Rangers), Tony Bulus (Giwa FC), Okey Emordi (Kano Pillars), Erasmus Onu (Heartland) and Daboere Dokubo (Sharks).
POOR WELFARE PACKAGE
The majority of the clubs struggled to meet up with their financial obligations to their players resulting in several petitions to the League Management Company and strike actions.
Sharks, Dolphins, Warri Wolves, FC Taraba, Sunshine Stars and El-Kanemi Warriors players at different times boycotted training for days and also threatened not to honour their respective games.
FC Taraba players are currently protesting the non-payment of their 11 months salaries.
EMERGENCE OF NEW STARS
Like in other climes, the last league last season threw up some exciting names who hogged the headlines at one point or the other in the course of the campaign.
Sunshine Stars forward, Tunde Adeniji, was virtually an unknown figure before the start of the campaign, but his goals and impressive showings for the Owena Waves earned him a spot in the Home Eagles side.
Abia Warriors striker, Chisom Chikatara, also made the headlines for his impressive displays for the Umuahia-based side.
The likes of Bature Yaro, Esosa Igbinoba, both of Nasarawa United, and Austine Obaroakpo of Abia Warriors were also impressive for their clubs.
Other names that came up in the season include the likes of Prince Aggreh, Paul Onobi and Usman Mohammed.