Pictures: Alison now Chairman as Naija Ratels unveil new management board

A fresh chapter has been triggered in the existence of Naija Ratels, one of the most formidable women clubs in Nigeria, with the emergence of new management board.

The management team of the club now led by Mrs Eneh Alison James-Jegede as chairman were welcomed by the entire players steadily dishing electrifying applause, laced with catchy smiles.

Founder of Naija Ratels, Barr. Paul Edeh, who disclosed this while introducing members of the four-man Management team before the players and technical officials on Friday in Abuja, predicted that the club, competing at the top flight level of the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) would soar higher with its new leadership.

He said, “From now, there is going to be recalibration in Naija Ratels. This is because a crop of experienced administrators who understand the business of women football will be administering the club moving forward.

“I’m happy that the Club is transiting beyond me and transiting to a new phase because like its often said, success without successor is failure in disguise. At some point, every entity needs fresh initiatives. The person who is taking over from me and those in the Management composition are seasoned professionals in their various fields. They have international experience in both football and other aspects of management.”

He then told the players and technical officials led by Coach Bankole Olowokere that, “Going forward, the new Management team will interface with you to design more programmes. I appeal to you to give them all the support.”

He admonished the players to imbibe good behavioural attitude and remain focused, adding, “You all know I have always admonished you to be humble and stay humble. Humility is the key to becoming a superstar which you all desire to become.

“There is always a good and better way of doing things. It is always better to have a good relationship at all times in your playing career. I hope to see you all at the top under the amiable leadership of the new management ably led by Mrs James-Jegede.”

It will be recalled that Barr. Edeh had resigned his position as the club chairman in honour before he contested and won the election as Benue State Football Association Chairman on 17th June 2023.

Responding, the new chairman, Mrs James-Jegede expressed her readiness to lead the team to the next level.

“I have always lived my life on triangular points – The God almighty, humility and success. You have to work hard because football is not child’s play, you have to treat your career in football with a sense of duty and seriousness and continue to work at it daily. I crave your indulgence to always work as a team so that together we can change the narrative of women’s football in Nigeria.

“I urge you all to celebrate and support each other and don’t think evil of one another. I encourage you all to please dream, think, talk, eat and swim soccer. I want to see you grow and move forward always,” the new chairman told the players.

Team captain Ali Paulina while speaking on behalf of the players pledged their readiness to continuously improve on their performance and support the new management. She appreciated the former chairman for being a father to all of them and wish him well in his future endeavours.

Other members of the new club Management include Director of Administration and Finance/Vice chairman Miss Chisom Ikegwuonu, Director of Media and Publicity Amb. Ikenna Okonkwo as well as Director of Operations Mr. Abraham Adeka, while Coach Bankole Olowookere remains the club’s Technical Adviser.