It is no longer news that Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) FC has been relegated from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) at the end of the 2017 season.
However to ensure the team return to the elite division early, the management and other stakeholders need to start preparation early.
It is undeniable that the team played one of the best brands of football in the domestic league at the beginning of the season but lost steam midway through the campaign.
Ahead of life in the Nigeria National League (NNL), the team must bolster its squad with experienced players in addition to improved welfare package.
Also, for ABS to win points away from home, the management must make concrete travel plans. By arriving match venues on time, there will be no issue of fatigue among players and officials. To save cost and sometimes for financial gains of club officials, many domestic league clubs arrive away match venues a few minutes to the kick-off rather than passing one or two nights in the town before their away fixture.
More importantly, the management must reach out and win more committed supporters for the club ahead of next season. To achieve this, the ABS hierarchy may need to throw the gate open or subsidise its gate takings anytime the team is playing at home.
Another means of gaining more support for the team may be through distribution of memoirs to spectators at the stadium midway through matches. It may also not be a bad idea if the management buys 10-15 minutes airtime on a widely followed radio station in Ilorin, to talk about activities of the club and to interact with the people.
Finally, the team may need a change of its technical staff to make promotion a reality as the fans remained unconvinced with the tactical input of Henry Makinwa despite his alleged ‘fat pay’.