Completesportsnigeria.com’s ADEBOYE AMOSU, in this special feature piece, highlights the foreign players who have found greener pastures in the developing Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, otherwise christened Glo Premier League.
1. TAMEN MEDRANO (CAMEROON):
MIDFIELDER, SUNSHINE STARS
The talented midfielder is one of the popular foreigners in the Nigeria Professional Football League.
Medrano caught the eyes of Sunshine Stars’ officials during a CAF Confederation Cup tie against his former side Tiko United in 2011.
The 29-year old made his debut for the Akure Gunners on May 15, 2011 and has been an instant success at the club since then.
2. ASHU KINGSLEY (GHANA):
The left back joined Dolphins from Lobi Stars during the latest off-season. He has rarely featured for the Port Harcourt based side this season with Jonathan Zikiye ahead of him in the pecking order.
3. OUSMANE PAPE SANE (SENEGAL):
Ousmane linked up with Rangers in 2012 from Sharks Football Club of Port Harcourt. The central defender started his career with Senegalese side, Police FC and later CASA FC from where he moved to Nigeria.
He spent four years with Sharks before moving to Rangers.
4. GODBLESS ASAMOAH (GHANA):
ATTACKING MIDFIELDER, DOLPHINS
The talented player joined Dolphins from Ghanaian side, Medeama SC in March this year. Dolphins beat off the challenge of Ghanaian giants Accra Heart of Oak and Asante Kotoko to sign the player.
Asamoah played a crucial role for Medeama in the CAF Confederations Cup last season. Referred to as one of the talented players to have come out of Ghana in the last two years, he has scored three goals for Dolphins this season.
5. ADAMA COULIBALY (MALI):
DEFENDER, WARRI WOLVES
The versatile player has found a new home in Warri. Coulibaly joined Warri Wolves from Malian side, CD Duugouwolo Fila Bamako and has grown to become one of the best foreigners in the Glo Premier League.
Despite the high turnover of coaches at Wolves, he has become a regular figure at the club.
6. ERIC FRIMPONG (GHANA):
MIDFIELDER, BAYELSA UNITED
The 25-year old is the younger brother of former Enyimba and Ghana striker, Joetex Frimpong.
Eric joined the Restoration Boys after an unhappy spell at modest Tunisian side, Club Sportif Hamalif. And after initially struggling to make an impact at the club, he has impressed the fans with his dazzling runs and dangerous pull-outs.
7. ISAAC LOUTE (BENIN):
DEFENDER, KANO PILLARS
Loute who has been capped at full international level by Benin Republic can play as a midfielder, striker and left back. He has played for Lobi Stars, Gateway FC, Solie FC (Benin Republic), Manga Sports of Gabon, Krake (Benin Republic) and Sharks FC.
8. RAPHEAL BOUMSONG (CAMEROON):
The striker arrived Enyimba from El-kanemi Warriors but has enjoyed limited playing time with the People’s Elephant, with the likes of Mfom Udoh, Christain Obiozor and Peter Onyekachi ahead of him in the pecking order.
Boumsong’s most memorable moment in the colours of the two-time African Champions came in this season’s CAF Champions League fixture against Egytian side, Smouha where he scored the winner for his side.
9. ZOUMANE DOUMBIA (MALI):
Zoumane Doumbia arrived Heartland along with four other unknown African Stars in 2014, but is today one of the most popular and consistent players at the club.
Zoumane seized the left-back position from former Super Eagles defender and CHAN 2014 star, Benjamin Francis, who later left for Israel.
He was also nominated for the Nigerian League Bloggers Awards last season.
10: EMMANUEL FABIYI (BENIN):
GOALKEEPER, KANO PILLARS
The Nigerian-born goalkeeper has struggled to displace Theophilus Afelokhai as Pillars number one choice, and at one point considered leaving the club. He has also played for Bayelsa United and Abia Warriors in the past.
11. DOUHADJI JOSEPH YAOVI (TOGO):
The centre back joined Dolphins in 2013 from non-league side Yobo FC. He has formed a perfect understanding with Austine Festus in the centre of Dolphins’ defence.
12. SALOMON JUNIOR (BENIN):
DEFENDER, BAYELSA UNITED
The Bayelsa United captain was part of Benin Republic national team at the 2010 African Cup of Nations in Angola.
He once played for Ivorien side, ASEC Mimosas and also had stints at local sides ASPAC Cotonou and USS Krake before linking up with Bayelsa United.
13. SAIBOU BADAROU (TOGO):
Saibou Badarou was the topscorer at the 2014 WAFU Cup competition. He joined Heartland the same year and became an instant hit scoring on his debut against Kaduna United.
He was recently linked with a move to six-time Glo Premier League Champions, Enyimba Football Club of Aba.
14. RONALD KOFFI (COTE D’IVOIRE):
The gifted midfielder is a consistent performer for Heartland. He joined the Naze Millionaires same season as Saibou Badarou and Zouman Doumbia.
15. BORIS KONAN (COTE D’IVOIRE):
FORWARD, TARABA UNITED
The 26-year old is an influential member of Taraba United. Remarkably, he scored the 700th goal in the 2013/2014 league season.
The goal came in Taraba United’s 4-1 home win against Akwa United at the Jolly Nyame Stadium, on October 16, 2014.
Konan arrived Rangers with huge reputation in 2013 after a successful time in Republic of Niger with Niamey-based ASFAN, but failed to make a mark at the club.
He also had unsuccessful spells at Sharks and Akwa United before eventually joining Taraba United.
16. HASSAN HUSSEIN (CHAD):
FORWARD, EL-KANEMI WARRIORS
The enterprising forward has been capped at full international level by Chad. He is today one of the most feared forwards in the Glo Premier League.
17. NNAMSO EDO (CAMEROON):
DEFENDER, AKWA UNITED
Captain of Akwa United, Nnamso who is a versatile defender is one of the most consistent players in the Glo Premier League in recent years.
Blessed with a deadly right-foot, he is a set-piece specialist and has continued to score important goals for his side.
18. JAPHET OPUBO (GHANA):
GOALKEEPER, BAYELSA UNITED
Opubo linked up with Bayelsa United last season from city rivals, Nembe City. He helped Nembe secure promotion to the Premier League in 2012.
His impressive showing for the modest side did not go unnoticed as he attracted offers from a number of clubs before eventually settling for Bayelsa United.
19. JOEL DJONDANG (CAMEROON):
DEFENDER, KANO PILLARS
The central defender left El-kanemi Warriors to pitch tent with Kano Pillars during the off-season and has featured regularly for the Nigerian Champions this season.
20. AlHASSAN DOSSO (COTE D’IVOIRE):
MIDFIELDER, ABIA WARRIORS
An experienced campaigner in the Nigerian top flight, Dosso spent three seasons with Dolphins in which he won the FA Cup twice.
He later joined Sharks before moving to Norway where he spent five years. He later returned to Dolphins in 2014.
21. SOULEYMANOU DORI (CAMEROON): DEFENDER, EL-KANEMI WARRIORS
The central defender is in his second season in Nigeria after switching from Panthere de Nde in his native Cameroon to El-kanemi in 2014.
Super Eagles assistant coach, Salisu Yusuf brought Dori to Nigeria when he managed the club and he has perfectly adapted to life in Nigeria.
22. CHARLES THAMBE (CAMEROON):
Thambe last played for Cameroonian side, Njalla Quan Sports Academy in the Cameroonian top flight and has also represented his country at the U-17 level.
He joined Sharks at the start of the current season and is now the Blue Angels number one choice.
23. ALLOY BROWN (LIBERIA):
The talented youngster was promoted to the first team after a series of impressive displays for the Enyimba Feeders.
Brown marked his debut for Enyimba with a superb strike against Akwa United on Wednesday.
24. ISAAC HELE HELE (CAMEROON):
The former Cottonsport and Esperance de Guider full-back made his debut for Pillars against Warri Wolves on March 27, 2011. He is the first Cameroonian to play for the Nigerian Champions.
25. AHMED KONE (BURKINA FASO):
He recently joined Enyimba from Burkinabe side, AS Sonabel. He featured for Sonabel in the CAF Confederation Cup last season