The Port Harcourt side will have their hands full as they will not get the services of five of their first team players in this game against the Afonja WarriorsA much depleted Dolphins side arrived in Ilorin late on Friday night ahead of the game against Kwara United on Sunday and will not play with five of their regulars.
Five first team players are on various national team duties while two are out with injuries forcing the head coach, Stanley Eguma to look into the reserves for players to fill up spaces on the bus to Ilorin.
Chizoba Amaefule, Jeleel Ajagun, Chidi Osuchukwu and Emem Eduok are with the Nigerian U20 side in Germany preparing for the World Youth Championship while Isiaka Olawale has joined the camp of the Beach football national team.
On the injury list are Chimaobi Chukwu who has been out for a month and Emeka Atuloma who was taken out injured in Wednesday’s 2-0 win, while Ifeanyi Egwim who made the trip to Ilorin is just recovering from a bout of Typhoid fever.
A player like Buduka Egwurugwu who was with the reserves team was quickly thrown into the squad for the Ilorin game. Buduka has never before been in a Dolphins match day squad.
On Wednesday against Kaduna United at home, debuts were handed to Ebiamowei Baker and Temitope Jaiyeola due to the thin nature of the first team squad.
Head coach of the side, Stanley Eguma is himself not too pleased with the situation. “There is nothing we can do if the national team handlers decide to take our players but I must ask why do they take as much as four from the same team for the same national team?
“The U20 side have gone for pre-World Cup training and with the World Cup in August we have probably lost four of our best players for the rest of the season and it is not good for the club because we are in a long race,” Eguma said.
“But we will have to make do with what we have even though I must say I am not happy about the situation.”