December, 18 2021.
Seven-time Nigeria league champions, Rangers International F.C will kick start its chase for an eighth triumph as the 2021/2022 NPFL season rolls off this weekend as it targets a perfect start with a visit to the Muhammadu Dikko stadium, Katsina to challenge for the maximum points at stake against host’, Katsina United.
The ‘Flying Antelopes’ under a new manager, coach Abdul Miakaba with some very interesting acquisitions to team up with some of the retained players, will be a team to beat in the fast approaching season.
After its Thursday’s training session at the Rangers Training Pitch, Enugu, chief coach of Rangers, Mbwas Mangut said that his wards were in the best frame of mind to defend the colors of the club as the season starts with an away game in Katsina.
“We have a good blend of the new and old players which to a very large extent, will give us the balance needed for a good start to the season. With the team almost in perfect shape, regarding injuries, I believe we shall get a good result in Katsina. It will be a tough match but we are prepared to give our all to return with something to cheer about,” said Mangut.
Last season, it was a 2-0 win for the Katsina side in a match day 16 fixture in Katsina courtesy of goals from Rasheed Ahmed on 15 minutes and Joseph Atule from the spot on 83 minutes while the ‘Flying Antelopes’ earned a 1-0 victory in the return leg with Elijah Ani netting the winner on 70 minutes in the match day 36 fixture in Enugu.
Captain of the Enugu side and Super Eagles B defense lynchpin, Tope Olusesi said going into the league opening fixture, “The team is in fine shape going into our match with Katsina United. We have trained very hard and believe we have what it takes to get a positive result from an equally good side like Katsina United. We have our target for the season and a perfect start will go a long way in helping us achieve that target.”
Rangers will be banking on the retained players led by Uche John, Ebuka Anthony, Tope Olusesi, Christian Nnaji, Ugochukwu Ugwuoke, Ifeanyi Nweke, Chidiebere Nwobodo, Chinonso Eziekwe and others to deliver a perfect start to the season with quality contributions from new acquisitions like, Ossy Martins, Julius Ikechukwu, Eboko Ikechukwu, Olawale Doyeni and others.
In another development, L.M.C has given Rangers International F.C a provishional approval to play their home matches at the F.C.I.U stadium, Nnewi with the second ‘Oriental Derby’ of the season between Rangers and Enyimba in a match day 2 fixture will happen in Nnewi on December 26, 2021.