Yobe Desert Stars coach Mohammed Babaganaru says the newly promoted Nigeria Professional Football League side went on a massive recruitment of players to enable them measure up with other elite division sides.
He noted that he was left with the difficult task of raising a new team after only 11 players were retained from those that delivered the Premier League ticket last season.
“We have opted for seasoned league players to enable us compete better against other teams. I only met 11 players on ground as most of those that played for them in the lower league were asked to leave. It was the reason we recruited over 20 players,” Babaganaru told Goal.
“We looked at their track records and also went as far as going to Niger Republic to sign one of the Nigerien national team left back by name Shehu Jika who joined us from Sahel FC. We have equally bought Chinedu Ohanachom from Enyimba while Lazarus Chukwu, Babatunde Solomon and Godwin Paul have arrived from Warri Wolves.
"We also have Philip Asuquo, Philip Auta, Mustapha Musa, Chidiebere Ajoku and Nnaemeka Anyanwu with us. We have taken pains to go through the stress of preparing the players that we feel will give the club better representation in our debut season but we still have other things to do to ensure that we are ready for the season."
The former Kano Pillars and Wikki Tourists gaffer claims the Damaturu side are still behind schedule in their preparations and that they will commence friendly matches against lower league teams this week before proceeding to Kano.
“We have got the players ready and what is left is for us to start with Grade C friendly matches. We are going to do that for the whole of this week before we will move to Kano to feature in a pre-season tournament where we will be up against other premier league sides.
“I have confidence in this team and I am certain that we can go places. We will lay emphasis on blending the players together before the start of the season."
Yobe Desert Stars got the breakthrough to the premier league at the end of last season alongside Kwara United, Heartland and Go Round FC.