Defending champions of the Bet9jaSociaLiga Women’s Liga, SaintsFC Ladies, will not think about their off-field issues when they go into their Playoffs game against SCN Ladies on Saturday, according to their manager, Adesina Ayenoto.
The Saints Ladies take on SCN for the third time in what has been a difficult 2018 season for the 2017 winners, who just about made it beyond the regular season.
Saints have only managed one win and a draw this season, scoring just two goals in four matches in the regular season.
The game on Saturday will be the third time @SaintsFCLadies_ will meet @SCNigeria, with the previous two matches coming earlier in the season. They may be champions, but the #Saints go into this as the underdogs. #Bet9jaSociaLiga #SociaLigaPlayOffs #MoreThanAGame #SALSCN pic.twitter.com/udVlOSZlSi
— The SociaLiga (@TheSociaLiga) November 13, 2018
Their title defence has been anything but champions-like but Ayenoto says while his team has struggled all season due to a major financial problem, it won’t be an excuse when they battle SCN.
“We sure had some serious challenges, but we thank God for His Grace,” Ayenoto said in his press chat on Tuesday.
“We had problems with finances which affected our training location. It has not [been resolved] but we’re managing. It’s no excuse anyways,”
The Ladies go into that clash as the underdogs, despite their status as defending champions, having already met SCN twice this season and losing 2-0 on both occasions.
However, one of those results was overturned after the Liga governing body penalised SCN for fielding an ineligible player, with three points and three goals awarded to the champions.
That decision was key to the defending champions sealing a place in the playoffs for the second consecutive season, and their boss, Ayenoto, is not surprised by their underdogs tag.
“I’m actually not surprised, considering our performance thus far,” he added. “[But] we are banking on improved performance against hopefully, a #NoCheating team. May the best team win.”
On his expectation going into the game against SCN, the Saints gaffer was emphatic with his answer; “We expect to win.”