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Edith Agoye Blames Injury to Key Men and Inexperience for Sunshine Stars Early Exit From Playoffs

June, 10 2023.

Head Coach of Sunshine Stars of Akure, Edith Agoye has identified tight scheduling, injuries and inexperience of his very young team, as reasons for his team's inability to favourably compete with the big boys at the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) championship play-offs, which ends in Lagos on Sunday.

Sunshine Stars qualified for the Super Six after a spate of fascinating results in Group B, towards the end of the regular season, but their points tally of 27 was the least of the teams that made it to the season ending tournament.

As a result, they were expected to struggle but Agoye insisted that his team was ready and their chances should not be underestimated.

However, after Day 4 and with one match to spare, Sunshine Stars are effectively out of the contest and Agoye is blaming tight scheduling that didn't allow for good recovery of injuries to key players and lack of experience by the youngsters to play at such level, for their failure to fulfill their desire of grabbing one of the continental tickets.

"My players have their best, but after we lost a few key players to injury, the ones the were brought in as replacement tried, but lacked the exposure and couldn't cope. This is a very young team, assembled just seven months ago, so my joy is that they will get better next season", Agoye, who joined Sunshine Stars from 3SC of Ibadan said.

Nonetheless, he said his players will take the positives from the outcome of the matches they played, and work on them with the aim of improving themselves.

Sunshine Stars were beaten 1-0 by Rivers United on Day 1; but they drew 1-1 against Remo Stars and Bendel Insurance, before their slim chance of making progress in the competition was extinguished by a ruthless Enyimba of Aba, who thumped them 3-0 on Day 4.

Up next on the final day of the play-offs on Sunday, is a dead rubber between the Akure Gunners and Lobi Stars of Makurdi who also bowed out of the Super Six, with just two points, and has yet to score a goal at the tournament.

Agoye however said his team will take the match scheduled to kick-off at 2pm seriously, and play for their pride. report.

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