Captain of Rivers United Festus Austin has made what seem to be tall but achievable pledges to the governor of Rivers State Nyesom Wike after the administrator splashed N7 million on the club for beating 3SC 2-0 in a week 27 game of the Nigeria Premier League on Sunday.
Wike, who was present at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt on Sunday, further revealed that subsequent NPFL victories on the road for the club will attract the same financial reward (N7 million) while way draws will attract half that sum (N3.5 million).
A win for the club in the upcoming Federation Cup quarter final fixture against either Julius Atete FC or Enyimba FC will see them receive a $50,000.00 USD reward from the Governor.
Austin has now taken the time to appreciate the gesture of the Governor ahead of his teammates, and made promises of winning the Federation Cup and the NPFL, a feat that appears almost impossible, judging from their narrow 3-2 penalty win over 3SC in the Federation Cup Round of 16 after a barren draw at regulation time.
“I have never seen anything like this since I became a professional footballer and on behalf of my teammates, I want to thank the Governor.
“We know what is expected of us and every player of Rivers United has vowed to give one hundred percent at every opportunity until we achieve our set objectives.
“After the game against 3SC on Sunday, the players had a meeting and we have resolved that we will present both the NPFL title and Federation Cup to the Governor,” he said.
The last time a club won the league and the Federation Cup in same year was in 2005 when Enyimba was victorious in the Nigeria Premier League and defeated Lobi Stars 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw, to win the then Coca Cola FA Cup.
Dolphins however achieved the feat of winning the two trophies a year earlier (2004).
Rivers United is currently in third place on the NPFL standings with 44 points from 25 matches in the NPFL, two points adrift of the leaders, Enugu Rangers.