- Published: 26.09.2016 Pulse News Agency Local By NAN
Ex-Rangers International Fc of Enugu player, Emmanuel Okala, has expressed delight with the club’s return to national and continental limelight after 32 years of trophy drought and uninspiring performance.
Okala, who is ex-Green Eagles Goalkeeper, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Enugu that he was elated that Rangers would return to fame in his life time.
“Glory to God for bringing Rangers back as national champions after 32 years as well as picking a continental ticket as Nigeria’s flag bearer in Africa.
“I am a happy man. We thank God so far. We thank God for everything but we have to put on hold the celebration and wait for the last match for it to be real,’’ he said.
NAN reports that Rangers only needed a draw in its last match to coast home and be crowned the 2015/2016 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions.
Rangers International are currently top on the league table with 60 points and +12 goal differences followed by Rivers United FC with 57 points and +8 goal differences.
The last match of the Flying Antelope’s as Rangers are called against visiting EL-Kanemi Warriors FC of Maiduguri is scheduled for Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu on Sunday by 4 p.m.
NAN reports that Rangers, founded in 1970, along with Heartland FC of Owerri are the two Nigerian division one football teams that have never been relegated in the history of NPFL.
The club also provided the bulk of players to the then Green Eagles, like giant goalkeeper Emma Okala, skipper Christian Chukwu, Aloysius Atuegbu and Ifeanyi Onyedika.
Other former stars include Michael Emenalo, now at Chelsea of England, Augustine “Jay-Jay” Okocha, Onyekachi Apam, Edward Ofere and Joseph Enakharhire.
It has won the NPFL six times in 1974, 1975, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1984 and the Nigerian FA Cup five times in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1981, 1983.
Rangers were finalists seven times 1971, 1978, 1987, 1990, 2000, 2004, 2007 and won the Nigerian Super Cup once in 2004.
They also won Africa Cup Winners’ Cup 1977 and were finalists in the Africa Cup of Champions Clubs once 1975.