Kwara United head coach Suleiman Ashifat believes they can return to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) at the end of next season if the government and others at the club play their roles effectively.
Ashifat oversaw the Harmony Boys' last two league games of the season, and the coach urged everyone in the running of the club to ensure the issues relating to funds, which hindered their activities last season, do not recur.
Speaking to Goal this week, Ashifat revealed his delight after being named the head coach of the team having, understudied for Abubakar Bala and others in the past.
“It is a thing of joy to be given this huge task and it is my belief that we can do it together if we are united and fight for one common goal,” Ashifat told Goal.
“I am happy to be given the task and I hope to use it to the best of my ability to raise a good team that can stand the test of time. I hope to raise a formidable squad that will give the people of Kwara a return ticket to the NPFL.
“I am not saying that it will be an easy ride in respect to other teams we shall be competing against. We can do it with the right mentality and the willingness of all to contribute their quota.
“We had some financial challenges last season and this contributed in no small measure to our fall. I will beckon on the state government to do their part and the team too to be prepared on time.
“We already started the move towards raising a good team by announcing the names of the players we have retained after we have examined them and the way they have performed throughout the season.
"We have retained 27 players and we have started talking with them to ensure that most of these players play for us even though we are playing in the Nigeria National League.”
Kwara United finished the regular season in the 10th position with 27 points from 22 games and they were demoted to the lower league along with Bendel Insurance, Niger Tornadoes, and Remo Stars.