Heartland, Kano Pillars, Katsina United & 5 Others Battle in NNL Super 8 Playoffs

Following the end of the regular NNL season, the Nigeria National League have confirmed teams that will participate in the Super Eight playoffs, to determine the four teams that will gain promotion for the 2023-24 Nigeria Premier League campaign.

The eight teams qualified from the Southern and Northern Conference.

The clubs are EFFC FC, Katsina United, DMD FC, FC One Rocket, Abeokuta Stormers, Heartland FC, Sporting Lagos and Kano Pillars.

The regular season featured 48 teams grouped into eight, with the table toppers from each group making it to the playoffs after playing in 10 MatchDays. 

Owerri-based Heartland FC came off as the best of the rest, after gaining 22 points (the most) from 10 games in Group B4, and was the only side to remain unbeaten going into the next round, winning 6 and drawing 4 games. 

But the Naze Millionaires led by Christian Obi will face stern competition against traditional teams like Group A3 table toppers – Kano Pillars who has a rich history of winning, both at the top level having 4 NPFL titles, with 2 Federation Cups and a Super Cup in their trophy cabinet. 

Although, teams like FCT-based EFCC FC from A1 are no pushovers, considering they reached the quarterfinals of the 2023 Federation Cup, before losing 3-2 to Sunshine Stars of Akure. 

Sporting Lagos and Abeokuta Stormers Sports Club from B2 and B3 respectively are in unchartered territory and would look to upset the bigger boys in the playoffs, to give the competition a Cinderella run. 

Maiduguri-based DMD FC reached the Round of 32 in the Federation Cup, losing 3-2 to Nasarawa United, but gave a decent showing in the regular league season, winning thrice and losing only once in 6 games to rack up 11 points in Group A4. 

Heartland FC and Kano Pillars will be the teams to watch out for going into the playoffs, considering the caliber of players in their squad, coming from the top-tier league in previous seasons. 

It is also worth noting that the NNL Super 8 is not going to be a round-robin format, as the four Northern Conference teams will face each other and just two will qualify, while the same applies to the Southern Conference teams. 

The Eight Clubs in the NNL Playoffs are as follows;

Northern Conference:

  • EFCC FC (Abuja) 
  • Katsina United (Kastina) 
  • Kano Pillars (Kano) 
  • DMD FC (Maiduguri) 

Southern Conference:

  • FC ONE Rocket (Uyo) 
  • Stormers Sporting Club (Abeokuta) 
  • Heartland FC (Owerri) 
  • Sporting Lagos (Lagos)

The head of the operation of the league body, Emmanuel Adesanya, has confirmed that the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State will host the competition.

” We are happy to announce that Delta State Government has given their consent to host the Super 8 at the Stephen Keshi International Stadium in Asaba.

“We must congratulate His Excellency Sheriff Oborevwori for his election as the governor of the state and for granting the hosting of the NNL Playoff”, he said

Four teams from the NNL Super Eight championship playoff will be promoted to the 2023-24 Nigeria Premier League season.

Credit: Daily Post, BSNSports

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