Eguma, confederation cupDolphins of Port Harcourt Manager, Stanley Eguma has appealed to the Rivers State government and other well meaning people of the state to ensure that the club sorts out issues relating to funds before the start of their continental pursuit in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Eguma was also in charge of the Pride of Rivers when the club crashed out of the CAF Champions League in 2012 in the first round to Coton Sport Garoua of Cameroon after unrest in the team’s camp from players over outstanding debts before the first round first and second leg ties of the 2012 CAF Champions League ties ensured they didn’t progress beyond that stage.
The head coach recalled that the players almost held the team to ransom over unpaid debts and refused to train and have adequate preparation for both legs against Canon Sport and the result was a close 2-1 home win and a narrow 0-1 loss away to exit on the away goal rule. With Dolphins on the continent again next year after finishing second behind Enyimba in the 2014 Federation Cup, Eguma has made a passionate call to the handler of the team to ensure that players entitlements are settled before the start of hostilities so that it doesn’t derail their ambition in the competition.
The former U-23 coach stated that despite a turbulent season marred by players’ strike actions because of the failure to settle two seasons signing-on fees and match bonuses, Dolphins still tried to end the season well and a place on the continent is a fitting result of the hard work put into the team.
“I cannot say that we had a bad season despite all we have been through because we were still able to qualify for the continent since 2012. We had it tough this year with the players not having enough motivation to play because of the debts owed them,” he said.
“We did all within our reach to ensure we finish the season strongly. We are through to the continent and I will like the orientation to change this term. We were eliminated in 2012 because of issues relating to money and it will be fine if this is ironed out once and for all before the start of the competition. It won’t augur well for us to be kicked out again in the early stages because of our own errors.”
Dolphins ended the season in the Premier League in ninth position with 55 points from 38 games but a second place finish in the Federation Cup where they narrowly lost 1-2 to Enyimba and booked their flight in the second tier CAF Confederation Cup with the People’s Elephant already assured of a place in the CAF Champions League. Enyimba finished second on the league table behind Kano Pillars in the just ended season.