Club History: Enyimba FC (Part 1)

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Enyimba, The People's Elephant.

 

.. Nzogbu Nzogbu, Enyimba Enyi; Nzogbu Nzogbu, Enyimba Enyi…

That’s what their fans chant, cheering on Enyimba FC whenever they play. It is a war song in Medieval Eastern Nigeria that warriors sang whenever they were going to battle against rivals. This warring song is so common among Super Eagles Supporters that it has even become a pop culture in Nigeria’s National Football playlist.

Enyimba International FC, Aba, Abia State, Nigeria.

 

{A SKIP THROUGH THEIR PROFILE AND TIMELINE AS A QUICK INTRO…}

Anyway, Enyimba International Football Club, or simply known as Enyimba FC or just Enyimba, is a Nigerian football (soccer) club based in the city of Aba, Abia State, which plays in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL). The name of the Club, Enyimba, means the People’s Elephant in Igbo language and is also the nickname used for the city of Aba, Abia State, Nigeria.

The club was founded in 1976 and became dominant in the early 2000s, and they are widely revered as the most successful Nigerian football club as they won two African Champions League titles, six Nigerian championships and four Federation Cups since 2001.

The Enyimba Warriors.

 

Enyimba was founded by Jerry Amadi Enyeazu as a state-owned club in November 1976. He was the first Sporting Director in the newly created Imo State, a province in southeast Nigeria. However, in August 1991, Imo State was divided further and Abia State was created from the part of Imo which included the city of Aba, Enyimba’s hometown – thus the new state’s apparat took over as owners of the club.

As it were, Enyimba found the turf too hard in the 1970s and 1980s as the then traditional Super-Powers such as Bendel Insurance, Enugu Rangers, Shooting Stars, and local rivals Iwuanyanwu Nationale dominated Nigerian football league. By and by, the club journey to prominence started in 1990 when the Professional League was established.

The Spirit of The Elephant.

 

The first campaign in the top division saw Enyimba finished 13th out of 16 clubs, managing to win just five out of 30 games with a goal difference 25–36 (-11). The season after, the Eastern Nigerian Club won eight ties, though they still end the Football Calendar Year 15th with 36 points, just one point away from relegation behind Stationery Stores.

Enyimba FC were finally sent to relegation, as in to the trenches of second division for the 1992 campaign.

Enyimba were in the second level for two consecutive seasons before they won promotion in 1993. In that season which saw them back to the top flight, Enyimba came first with 29 wins out of 46 games, winning a 96 points in the 24-team league. And that came with a record goal difference of 64–25 (39), with most goals scored and fewest goals conceded.

Enyimba won the Nigeria Premier League in 2015.

 

The spirit of the Elephant is never fearful indeed as Enyimba ended the 1994 season third in their come back to the top drawer; finishing behind BCC Lions and Shooting Stars. Although, that third place finish saw them fail to qualify for the 1995 CAF Cup on goal difference.

It came to be that Enyimba finished the 1995 season dismally. They finished fourth in 1996. They had series of inconsistent results that almost caused them to be relegated again, narrowly escaping the drop on goal difference in 1997 and finishing seventh in 1998.

But the story doesn’t end there. In Part 2 of this Enyimba story, there would be some amplified Nzogbu Nzogbu, Enyimba Enyi…

Watch this space….

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