By Femi Atolagbe
Stakeholders and fans of Sunshine Stars Football Club of Ondo State have appealed to the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr Bamidele Ologunloluwa to ensure they keep the team’s current squad for next season.
The stakeholders stated this while commending the management and leadership style of the Commissioner, as Sunshine Stars finished fourth-best team in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL).
Recalled that Enyimba FC of Aba emerged the eventual winner of the Elite League of the country.
The result was also Sunshine Stars biggest showing in the elite league since they participated at the continental level in 2012 and only missed the dreamt of playing in the Confederation of African (CAF) competition by one place on the log.
In his congratulatory message, former Technical Adviser of Sunshine Stars, Henry Abiodun, said the team was able to break a ten-year jinx of sixth place best performance.
Abiodun, who also commended the youthfulness of the team, said the current squad should be kept together for more success and greatness next season.
He said: “Congratulations to Sunshine Stars FC, the Coaching crew, players, backroom staff, Ondo State Football Association and the teaming supporters for a fantastic feat.
“The team under the leadership of our able commissioner for youth and sports development was able to break a ten-year jinx of sixth place best performance.
“Having placed 4th on the log, this is commendable bearing in mind the youthfulness of the team and other challenges. Better days ahead, it can only get better,” the statement said.
Also, Chairman of Supporters Club,Adeboboye Babatunde, said the sports Commissioner really turned around the team and believed that Sunshine Stars would do more come next season.
Babatunde, who described commissioner as a listening administrator,said the team missed out on the continent by whiskers, added that the team was getting back its glorious days.
He is a wonderful person, he tried in his own little way, he took Sunshine Stars with all seriousness like a youth should do and he make sure he carried all the associations along,” he said.
One of the oldest supporter and fan of Sunshine Stars, Prince kole Ibitotoye, appreciated the whole crew and thanked them for what he called the greatest support for Sunshine Stars from the Ministry of Sports.
Ibitoye said noted that if not for some unforeseen circumstances and not too good refereeing in the league, Sunshine Stars could have picked one of the spots for continental football.
Ibitoye, while also commending the team who were just together for seven months, urged the commissioner to try everything within his power and keep the good crop of players which had been the bane of the team over the years; continuity is important.
I commend Sunshine for coming 4th in the league they did well. I commend all the supporters and fans of Sunshine Stars and the state government through Bamidele Ologunloluwa for the support for the team and the coach too did a wonderful job,” he said.
Another fan, Seun Ayodele, said the team is a future team that should be kept together.
Ayodele, who praised the interim Committee headed by Deputy Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa for laying a solid foundation before the commissioner took over, also appreciated the General Manager, Prince Tunde Ogunja for bringing his wealth of experience to help the team.