Every club has one, they might not be first on the manager’s teamsheet, but they have their own chants and their own fan clubs.
Here thenwfl.com took a look at eight players who were/are cherished not for how good they were, but for who they are and what they represented. We celebrate some of the cult heroines in the Nigeria Women Premier League.
(1) Rofiat Sule (Bayelsa Queens)
It is only a small percentage of players that are able to enjoy the genuine best wishes of supporters after leaving a club, but Rafiat Sule certainly exists as one.
Sule left Yenagoa in 2016 after emerging back to back top scorer in the Nigeria Women Premier League and got some Bayelsa Queens fans furious over her sale to rival Rivers Angels. Despite boasting a less formidable goal record (Five Premier League Goals) during her two years at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Bayelsa Queens Fans still wanted her back in Yenagoa and she finally left the ‘Jewels of Rivers’ to re-join Bayelsa Queens in 2019.
(2) Tobiloba Olarenwaju (Confluence Queens)
Tobiloba Olarenwaju was indeed a cult-heroine during her stay in Lokoja. She was captain of the ‘New Direction’ Ladies for four seasons before leaving the club for Sunshine Queens.
Continually described as hardworking, such an adjective is equal to the quality Tobiloba actually demonstrated during her five years at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja. Well-behaved, respectful, committed , versatile, skillful, extraordinarily useful at the back and upfront, as she scored alot of goals with her head and also through free-kicks.
Tobiloba left Confluence Queens in 2017 to join Sunshine Queens and later Rivers Angels in 2018 before jetting out to the Spanish Iberdorla to join Sporting De Huelva in 2019.
(3) Rasheedat Ajibade (FC Robo Queens)
Rasheedat Ajibade is always visibly prepared to run for hours, weeks and months just for the FC Robo cause. Born in Mushin, Lagos State on 8th of December 1999.
When watching Rasheedat Ajibade in the FC Robo shirt, one always gets the feeling that she finds nothing in football easy as she always gives her best on the field of play, but that only makes her success all more warming.
FC Robo Queens is a club based in Mushin, which many supporters base their entire mood on. For them, Rasheedat was the perfect idol after Asisat Oshoala. She was their everything. She left the ‘Lagos Landladies’ in 2018 to join Alvaldness IL in Norway.
(4) Maryam Ibrahim (Nasarawa Amazons)
Honesty and Loyalty remains a much cherished quality of the experienced centre back. Despite being called up by some of the biggest teams in the NWPL, Maryam has remained faithful to the “Solid Babes’ in the last 10 years.
Captain, Leader and Legend. A cult heroine at the Lafia City Stadium, was crucial to Nasarawa Amazons winning the league in 2017 and the AITEO Cup in 2019 and definitely the Lafia fans love her so much.
(5) Anjor Mary (Osun Babes & Bayelsa Queens)
Anjor Mary joined Osun Babes in 2017 as a free agent and quickly established herself into the heart of the Osun Babes supporters with a brace and an assist on her debut against Sadatu Kolo Amazons.
Anjor is loved by almost everyone in Osogbo and Yenagoa for her domineering style on the pitch. In her first season at the club, Anjor finished as Osun Babes best player and the following year club’s top scorer, second highest goalscorer in the league and top scorer at the 2018 AITEO Cup. She left Osun Babes in 2019 to join Bayelsa Queens and ended the season as the league’s top scorer and league’s player of the season.
(6) Joy Bokiri (Bayelsa Queens)
Grew up in Yenagoa and was part of the Bayelsa Queens youth setup since the age of 12. She became captain of the senior team growing to become the most popular Bayelsa born women Footballer.
Bokiri has always been there for the ‘Restoration Girls’ while her greatest achievement at the club must surely have been the calmness of her celebration after inspiring Bayelsa Queens to their first title in 11 years at the 2018 Super 4 Championship in Lagos.
Bokiri now plays for Konak Belediyespor in the Turkish Women Football League wearing her ‘iconic’ no. 12 jersey.
(7) Evelyn Nwabuoku (Bayelsa Queens and Rivers Angels)
Captain fantastic!! Super Woman!!! Rivers Angels fans will always hold a place in their heart for this former Super Falcons captain.
Evelyn Nwabuoku inspired Rivers Angels to six AITEO Cup and three league titles. Mild off the pitch and tough on the pitch. Rather than a cult heroine at one club, Evelyn also enjoyed that status at Bayelsa Queens where she previously won the NWPL in 2006 and 2007.
(8) Sarah Iloduba (Osun Babes)
‘Small Body Big Engine’ as she is fondly called by a cross section of Osun Babes fans. Iloduba joined Osun Babes FC in 2014 from non-league side Apapa Queens and instantly became fans favourite.
Entirely committed to the ‘Omoluabi Queens’ course with her techniques, tactics and mobility as an utility player who can play from almost every position on the pitch.