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Pelican Stars won’t struggle again to stay in Premiership – Okoronkwo

Pelican Stars captain and striker, Joy Okoronkwo has said not again will her side go through the harrowing path of relegation play-off in order to keep their position in the top-flight.

The Calabar landladies endured a really hard time at the just concluded Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) Premiership relegation play-off in Benin City for them to secure their staying position in the elite league.

The former champions overpowered the trio, Abia Angels, Dreamstar Ladies and Ibom Angels at the play-off.

Okoronkwo said she is extremely excited to be among the players that played their role well to keep the side in the top-flight.

“Even if next season will be patterned after this out gone season I’m very certain that Pelican Stars will never go through this path (relegation play-off) again in order to keep their position in the Premiership.

“Our target for next season is not only to stay far away from the relegation circle but to finish among the top five.

“I feel good and very happy that despite stiff challenges at the play-off we were able to keep our position in the premier league.

“It’s a good thing being part and parcel of the players that worked tirelessly to ensure the team avoided relegation.

“It’s a good thing, a refreshing memory and I feel really happy about it. The memory will linger in me for a long time to come,” said Okoronkwo to

Okoronkwo hinted that the last day play-off clash against Ibom Angels ended goalless because of the deep rooted closeness and rivalry between the sides.

“You know Ibom Angels and Pelican Stars are traditionally bitter rivals and both sides know each other inside out. Any match involving the two is like a clash between two elephants, the match is always tough.

“Ibom Angels did not allow us to score, we, too did not allow them to score, the match ended goalless but the point was just good enough for us to continue staying in the premier league unlike our opponents,” said the Pelican Stars markswoman.

The Calabar side finished the play-off campaign at the top on five points and moved on to keep their status in the elite league together with runners-up, Abia Angels while the duo, Dreamstar Ladies and Ibom Angels were relegated to the lower league at the end of the day.

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