The Akure-based club is drawn alongside North African teams in Group A
Coach Gbenga Ogunbote of Akure-based Sunshine Stars FC has expressed his team’s determination to overcome its North African opposition in the CAF Champions League.
Sunshine Stars are drawn in Group A with Esperance of Tunisia, ASO Chlef of Algeria and Etoile Du Sahel, also of Tunisia.
Speaking in Aba following Sunhine’s 1-2 loss to Enyimba FC, Ogunbote said the team’s target is to win the CAF Champions League trophy.
“We are aware of the enormous responsibility expected of us by Nigerians and we are working hard not to disappoint them,” he said.
“As far as I am concerned, the game of football is played on the pitch and that is what our focus will be: To play well and win.”
Ogunbote described the elimination of Dolphins FC of Port Harcourt, Heartland FC of Owerri and Warri Wolves FC from this year’s CAF competitions as unfortunate.
The coach said the players would work harder for the team to do the country proud.
“It is quite unfortunate that all our teams except Sunshine Stars have crashed out. First, it was Dolphins in the Champions League and now, Heartland and Warri Wolves in the Confederations Cup. I really feel for the teams and for Nigeria as a whole,” he said.
He added that the pressure was now on Sunshine Stars and called on Nigerians for total support to ensure the team triumphed at the end of the competition.
He confirmed that the services of three new players, Cletus Itodo, Sunday Emmanuel and a player from Tiko United of Cameroun, Mario, had been secured to fortify the team for the league.
The group phase of the Champions League will start from the weekend of July 6 and run through September.