Enyimba FC head coach Finidi George, is approaching the first edition of the African Football League (AFL) with great ambitions. For him, the objective is clear: to go as far as possible in this tournament reserved for the best African football clubs and why not, to go down in history as the very first winner of this competition. The boss of the bench of the reigning Nigerian champions spoke to our editorial staff.
Enyimba will have the privilege of participating in the first edition of the
African Football League this October. How did you receive this news?
For me as a coach, it is a big privilege actually to be part of the African Football
League coming up in October, especially the first one in the history of African
So, it is a big privilege and opportunity for us to showcase ourselves. Enyimba FC is one of the biggest teams on the content and it is great to be part of this new
development. I am quite happy about it; we will prepare and give a good account
What do you think of this competition initiated by CAF and FIFA?
I think that it is long overdue, it is a great thing for African football that CAF and
FIFA are coming together to have a competition like this, I think the African Football League is going to be a good one.
What do you think it will bring to African football and African players?
It is really going to help the African football because a lot of people will be
watching. We are happy that it is coming up at this time. For me as a coach, it is
fantastic. We will want to commend CAF and FIFA for this initiative. I am very
happy about it and hopefully it is going to be a success and it continues every year.
Enyimba is the only team in the AFL that is no longer in the Champions
League race and the start of the championship is still expected in Nigeria. Will this affect your team?
Enyimba’s exit from the Champions League will not really affect what we do in
this tournament. They are two different competitions. It is unfortunate that we are
out of the Champions League but I can tell you that Enyimba is definitely going to
compete in the African Football League. We will compete properly and do our best to represent Nigeria in a big way. I am not worried that we are not in the
Champions League at the moment but come October, we will strive to make
You face Wydad Casablanca in the quarter-final, finalist of the last edition of the CAF Champions League. How are you going to approach this match
against this African giant?
Against Wydad Casablanca, it is definitely going to be a 50:50 game. We are not
going to shy away, they want to win, we want to win as well. The first game is
going to be in Nigeria, we will see how to get ourselves prepared mentally and
physically for that game, bearing in mind that they are a fantastic side. But we as a club, we will be prepared for the challenge. We are looking forward to that; it is
definitely going to be an interesting and attractive game for the fans and public to
What are the objectives that you set for yourself in relation to this
Our objective for this tournament is to compete properly and make sure we get as far as we can. If by so doing, we win the trophy; it is going to be fantastic, but
before then, we will have to compete and give a good account of ourselves and
make the fans proud. So, we are expecting it and we pray for a good tournament.
We will all enjoy it and the best team has to win it.
Despite everything, do you think there is room to make history as the first
ever winner of this competition?
Of course, we are hoping to be the best at the end of the day.