Academy Team Beyond Limits Lift 2023/2024 NNL Title, Crowned Champions

By Tayo Ogunseye

Beyond Limits Football Academy of Ikenne, Ogun State have been crowned the champions of the Nigeria National League (NNL) after they won the season-ending Super 8 Playoffs by defeating Nasarawa United 4-3 on penalties after score stood at 2-2 in regulation time at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu on Thursday.

The exciting final match of the much-talked about season was witnessed by the Nasarawa State Deputy Governor Emmanuel Akabe, NFF President Ibrahim Gusau, NNL Chairman George Aluo and Barrister Isaac Danladi as well as other dignitaries.

The league debutants who topped the Southern Conference with 7 points after three games in the Group playoffs went ahead through Farouq Ogundare from the spot in the 28th minute, while Annas Yusuf levelled scores for Nasarawa United five minutes later.

The team handled by Olumide Ajibolade regained the lead again through Shina Ayodele just after the break but substitute Peter Eneji equalised for the Solid Miners 12 minutes from time.

In the penalty shootout, Beyond Limits coveted four of their kicks while Nasarawa United could only convert three out of five.

The two finalists as well as El-Kanemi Warriors and Ikorodu City have already secured promotion to the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL).

“I’m very, very happy” said coach Ajibolade who couldn’t contain his excitement and emotions after the final whistle. “It’s a good way to cap the season. What you can see today” he continued, “is a tip of iceberg. It’s what we can deliver due to hard work, Its as a result of so much investment, so much intentions behind everything we did. If you watched the game, you will see that there is so much intention behind what we want to play. Even when it was difficult, we stuck to the principles from the build up. That’s the ideals and we learn in the process. We are not looking at the result or the trophy, we are looking at how we got the trophy “

Olumide Ajibolade Coach Beyond Limits

“This season has been better that previous season. I have never played in the NNL, I have always been an observers and I know how difficult people say it is. I think we were able to win three away games in a row in the regular season. That’s not a Nigerian thing. Of course, it was difficult but this was possible due to the positives introduced by the NNL management.”

NNL Chairman Aluo at the closing ceremony who was full of smiles as he addressed the media.

He gave thanks to God for the success and also appreciated stakeholders including the media for the positive reviews.

“Our efforts are just little but whatever you put in God’s hands, you will receive success and to the people, firstly I want to thank the President of the Nigeria Football Federation Ibrahim Gusau right from day one, he has been very supportive even when the Super Eagles were in Uyo and Ivory Coast for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, he called the referees and reminded them of perfect officiating. I also spoke with them. He is a man who wants to change the narrative of Nigerian football.”

“No team left here with a complain and the four teams that gained promotion to the Nigeria Premier Football League are the best going by the level playing field they all enjoyed. We were decisive in tackling issues with conducts. Within a week during the regular season, seven referees were shown the exit door while clubs who failed to follow the rules were asked to go. So, we have been deliberate on what the league should be and that’s the gospel of we have been preaching to the clubs” he said.

NNL Awards For The 2023/2024 Super Eight

1.Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Farouq Ogundare
Club-Beyond Limits Football Academy,Ikenne- Remo Ogun State .

2.Best Goalkeeper
Winner:Emmanuel Olisa
Club: Beyond Limits Football Academy, Ikenne-Remo.

3.Highest goal Scorer
Two players scored three goals in the NNL Super Eight.
*Kparobo Arieerhi of Beyond Limits
*Yusuf Toheeb of Ikorodu City.
Based of the fact that Yusuf Toyeeb of Ikorodu City who played less number of matches (Three), he was declared winner and not Kparobo Arierhi who played four matches.

*Winner
Yusuf Toheeb of Ikorodu City.

4.*Most Disciplined Coach:
Adams Usman Technical Adviser Nasarawa United

5.Best Behaved Team
Inter – Lagos FC.

Awards Sponsors
Prostar Sports International Limited

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6.Best Performing Referee
Oscar Iwuamadu (Imo State Referees Council)

7.Best Performing Assistant Referee
Mohammed Ibrahim Gusau(Zamfara State Referees Council)

8.Best Performing Assistant Referee
Ridwan Lawal (Oyo State Referees Council)

Awards Sponsor
Sportslight Hub Limited.
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9.Prize Money
Five Million Naira only(N5,000,000)

Winners
Beyond Limits Football Academy .

Sponsors
DeKaizen Worldwide Ltd.

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