Ibadan-based Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) has returned to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), eliciting jubilation among Governor Seyi Makinde, Senator Teslim Folarin and other notable supporters.
The historic club, on Saturday, regained promotion to the elite division of the Nigerian league after securing seven points in the Nigeria National League Playoff.
3SC, popularly known as Oluyole Warriors, was relegated to the lower division of the league, NNL, in 2017 and had since struggled to return to the NPFL.
On Saturday, 3SC dazed Ekiti United FC 6-0 in the Group B Conference, after defeating Bendel Insurance 3-0 and drawing 1-1 with Remo Stars.
For Governor Makinde, the promotion is a promise kept.
“We promised in 2018 to restore the lost glory of our darling Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC). Today, it is a promise kept.
“Our 3SC thrashed Ekiti United 6:0 to clinch the last 3 points needed to get back into the NPFL after being relegated to the NNL in 2017. Up Shooting!!!” He tweeted Saturday evening.
On his part, Mr Folarin (APC-Oyo Central) hailed the 3SC players and management on the promotion to NPFL, saying they deserved to be part of the nation’s elite league.
Mr Folarin in a statement signed by his Media Aide, Yekeen Olaniyi, charged the team to strive harder and double its efforts at winning the NPFL.
The lawmaker, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Content, said the club unites the people of Oyo State just like football unites the world.
Professor Adeolu Akande, Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) also congratulated the 3SC management and players on the club’s promotion to the premier league.
Akande expressed joy that Oluyole Warriors were back to the elite position in the Nigerian football league where they rightly belong.
The NCC boss expressed optimism that 3SC would re-enact its winning streaks of years past by qualifying and winning both national as well as continental laurels in the nearest future.
Also, Rasheed Balogun, the 3SC General Manager, said the return of the Oluyole Warriors to NPFL was made possible by the commitment of Gov. Seyi Makinde.
Balogun commended football stakeholders in the state, including administrators, supporters, ex-3SC players and fans for their patience as well as support.
The 3SC boss said he was short of words to describe the warriors who fought and conquered the battle.
“The coaches, players and all the staff have made me proud; they have made my day. I can’t explain how grateful I am to these guys. They are simply fantastic,’’ he said.
3SC would on Sunday play the Group A Northern Conference leader, Niger Tornadoes FC of Niger, to determine the overall winner of the 2020/21 Nigeria National League.