NIGER Fickers and the El-Rufa’i Queens of Kaduna at the weekend emerged champions of the male and female categories of the National Hockey Super League in Abuja. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the league which flicked off at the hockey AstroTurf pitch of the National Stadium, Abuja on July 23 came to an end on July 30. Niger Flickers won five matches and lost one, amassing 15 points to win the male category of the week-long tournament played on round robin basis, while El-Rufa’i Queens won four matches and drew one to win the female category with 13 points. Both teams won a giant trophy and secured tickets to represent Nigeria at the African club championship in Accra, Ghana from Sept. 7-11. Union Bank who defeated El-Kanemi Flickers of Borno State 1- 0 in the final game placed second in the male category with 13 points while Police Machine was third having garnered 8 points following two wins, two draws and one loss. Heartland Flickers of Owerri placed second in the female category with eleven points after winning three matches and drawing two, Benue Amazons placed third in the female category. Niger Flickers’ Shamwilu Muazu emerged the male’s most valuable player, while Alpha John of El-Rufa’i Babes emerged as both the female most valuable player as well as the women’s highest goal scorer with six goals. Yohanna Faruk of Niger Flickers won the men highest goal scorer with five goals. The best goalkeeper for the male category went to Union Bank’s Yemi Siyanbola, while Blessing Ogbole of Benue Amazon won the best female goalkeeper. The fair play trophy in the male category went to Kada Stars of Kaduna, while Benue Amazons took home the fair play trophy in the female category. Meanwhile, Hon. Sani Kutigi, the Chairman of Niger Flickers Hockey
Club, expressed happiness over his team’s victory at the competition, adding that it was indeed a great accomplishment. Speaking to newsmen after his boys received the giant trophy and gold medals, Kutigi said: “The best hockey team in the country have won the title three times in a row and for a fifth time in six years.’’ He noted that the team which finished third at the last African Championship would become the best in Africa in the next championship and also go to the World Championship next year in Holland and make the country as well as Africa very proud.