Rivers United FC will round off their pre-season preparations for the 2016/17 season in Madrid, Spain.
The contingent of 41 persons (28 players and 13 officials) will depart for Spain on Monday, December 12 via the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
General Manager of the Port Harcourt-based Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) club, Chief Okey Kpalukwu revealed that the Rivers United contingent will spend 10 days in the Spanish capital.
“Our arrival date in Madrid, Spain is December 12.
“We will round off our pre-season activities in Spain. This will be very good for our football club as Spain has a tradition of winning.
“Our players and coaches will also be exposed to state of the art equipment and facilities which will help us in no small way as we look to compete for honours on three fronts in the upcoming season.
“I want to use this opportunity to thank our sponsors, the Rivers State Government for making this possible,” Kpalukwu said.
While in Madrid, Rivers United FC is expected to face a La Liga club in a tune up game while proposed friendly matches have already been lined up against Segunda B clubs, Levante Union Deportiva II and Club Deportivo Alcoyano.
The Rivers United squad will also attend training sessions of a La Liga club (as well as the sessions of the youth teams of the club).
The technical crew of Rivers United led by manager, Stanley Eguma are also expected to be huge beneficiaries of the programme as a crash course on coaching methodology has already been arranged with the La Liga club.
On Monday, December 13, the Rivers United contingent will attend a La Liga match from 20:45 GMT.
The Rivers United contingent is due back in Nigeria on Thursday, December 22.
Rivers United will represent Nigeria in the 2017 Caf Champions League.
Eguma relishing Super Four test
Technical manager of Rivers United FC, Stanley Eguma is looking forward to the prospect of facing some of Nigeria’s best football clubs in the annual pre-season tournament of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), the Super 4.
The NPFL Super 4 pre-season tournament will hold in Enugu from December 7 and consists of the four clubs that have qualified to represent Nigeria in the 2017 Caf inter club tournaments.
Eguma says taking part in the Super 4 will rub off positively on his charges and the football club.
“The Super 4 tournament will help us test ourselves and ascertain the level of preparedness of the squad ahead of the commencement of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and the Caf Champions League.
“It will also help us to gauge the mentality of our players and how well they have assimilated our philosophy.
“The fact that the other three teams competing in the Super Four will play on the continent will also help us too as the level of competition will be extremely high.
“It is important to have our footballers in top shape because clubs from other countries that we will likely face in the Caf Champions League already have their teams currently involved in active competition.
“We have a lot to gain by competing in this tournament and Rivers United as a football club is fully in support of this initiative,” Eguma was quoted as saying on the club’s official website, www.riversunitedfc.com.ng.
Rivers United will open their Super Four campaign on December 7 against Enugu Rangers by 7pm at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu before facing the Cup kings, FC Ifeanyiubah by 7pm on match day two.
The ‘Pride of Rivers’ will round off their campaign in Nigeria’s most prestigious pre-season tournament with a fixture against Bauchi club, Wikki Tourists by 4pm on match day three.
The tournament is usually a hub for international and domestic football player scouts who throng the venue to assess some of the best players in the nation’s top flight league.
Akwa United won the last edition.