Kennedy Boboye has signed a new one-year contract at Akwa United, extending his stay at the Uyo club until the end of the 2020-21 season.
Boboye, who led Plateau United to league glory in 2017, has penned a new deal with the Promise Keepers after his initial contract expired at the end of last season.
The former Sunshine Stars gaffer was appointed Akwa United head coach in December last year, following the resignation of John Obuh after a dismal start to the season.
We are glad to announce that Coach Kennedy Boboye has signed a contract extension that will keep him with us till the end of the 2020/2021 football season.
The new Jersey design for next season was also unveiled pic.twitter.com/or4okL1yZ5
— Akwa United FC (@AkwaUnited_fc) December 2, 2020
He made an instant impact at the club, winning his first five games.
However, that initial burst was followed by a poor run that saw them win two in 12 games — before the league ended abruptly due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Akwa United were nine points behind the top team Plateau United and placed sixth on the log when the season was suspended, but the points-per-game rule — employed to decide the final table — pushed them down to eighth.
The club have since moved on from the disappointment of seeing the last campaign cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, and are now looking to secure their first-ever league title.
“The task ahead is to win the league title,” said Boboye during a contract-signing ceremony at the Nest of Champions on Wednesday.
In the last five years, the club have come so close to claiming the league on thrre occasions. They finished fourth — six points behind champions Plateau United — in the 2016-17 campaign. And in the 2017-18 season, the club were just two points adrift of leaders Lobi Stars after 24 round of matches before the season ended prematurely no thanks to crisis in the Nigeria Football Federation.
The following season, the Orange Boys finished top of their group in the abridged campaign, but failed to live up to expectations at the playoffs.
Akwa United’s near-success syndrome in recent times have been largely down to poor starts to the season. For instance, they took just three points from their first five fixtures in the 2016-17 campaign, and seven from their opening eight games last season.
Given that another poor start could prove costly to the club’s league title ambitions, Chairman of the two-time Aiteo Cup winners, Paul Bassey, says his side are aiming to start the season strongly.
He said: “This season is about determination. We’re not going to approach the season as a marathon anymore. We’ve had cases in the last two, three seasons where we start as a marathon, and then start walking up and running.”
Paul added that a poor start to the season could also hurt their ambitions, in the event that the league ends prematurely — like it did two seasons ago and in the last campaign.
“We’ve realized that maybe there’s going to be. Covid-19 part 2. We won’t allow that to happen to us.
“This year, by the grace of God, we’re going to start the season as a sprint. We’ll start running [from the beginning of the season], so that whatever ‘pandemic’, whatever comes, we’ll be up there.”
He concluded: “We’re in a country anything can happen, but if you’re up there, nobody can touch you.”