Ibom Angels coach, Whyte Ogbonda is not bothered about the pedigree of his opponent, Rivers Angels ahead of the Aiteo Cup final on Wednesday in Jos.
Ibom Angels could not play their semi final game at the earlier scheduled date due to a protest filed by Confluence Queens against Abia Angels but eventually got it over their Umuahia opponents 3-2 on aggregate.
Ogbonda is elated to reach his first ever final as a head coach.
“I am very happy to beat Abia Angels to qualify for the final of the Aiteo Cup on Wednesday in Jos. It wasn’t an easy task. When we prepared to play against Abia Angels, a protest came and that delayed the clash for almost 14 days weighing my players down. I am happy at the end of the day, we were able to scale through the hurdle and get to the finals.”
The former Rivers Angels assistant coach highlighted the difference between the two clubs.
“I was with Rivers Angles and now Ibom Angels, there is a big difference in the way things are run or the way football is run. I was with Rivers Angels for 7 years wining everything in the League and Federation Cup that it became easy to win trophies at that time, I knew it was time to move on and try my luck elsewhere. That was what brought me to Akwa Ibom State. I don’t have any regret coming to Akwa Ibom State to work. Although, they are not yet up to the level of Rivers State in terms of football management, Calibre of players and other things,” Ogbonda explained to Ladiesmarch.
Ogbonda is unfazed by the big names in Rivers Angels and has promised to stun the seven-time champions.
“When we came to Port Harcourt during the season for a League game, I told the media names don’t win football matches but individuals. You can’t compare the players in Ibom Angels and Rivers Angels, they have international players. I brought up some of the players I got from the grassroots and academies when I arrived last year,” he revealed.
“No one goes to war to lose. I am from Rivers State and my former team, Rivers Angels has won lots of the Federation Cup trophies. For us, it’s our first time getting close to a trophy. Our aim is getting the cup for Akwa Ibom State. I think Akwa Ibom needs the trophy more than Rivers State,” Ogbonda stated.
The Rivers born coach believes the 10 million naira prize money is an added motivation for his team.
“The prize money of 10 million naira is a big motivation to get the cup for Akwa Ibom State. The female team has never won a trophy for the State so the prize money plus the zeal to win our first trophy is our drive to go ahead and win it.
“I am getting all the support and motivation needed to get the cup for Akwa Ibom. If we had this same support during the League, I am sure we would have gotten to the Super 4,” Ogbonda submitted.
Ibom Angels will take on defending champions Rivers Angels in the final of the Aiteo Cup in Jos. The Akwa Ibom State government is airlifting the team to avoid the long distance travel by road unlike their Rivers State counterpart who arrived Jos on Sunday afternoon after a long hour trip from Benin venue of 2017 NWPL Super 4.