Free-scoring Nwankwo eyes NPFL top shot award

Published on: 14 May 2021

Silas Nwankwo joined Nasarawa United from Sunshine Stars of Akure during the period leading to the commencement of 2020/2021 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.

Since then, Silas has featured in twenty games for Nasarawa United, starting in eighteen of those games, scoring seven goals, and assisting three. He scored his first career hat-trick against Abia Warriors towards the end of first stanza of the ongoing league season.

Sunshine Stars of Akure’s Sadeeq Yusuf is currently leading the NPFL scorer chat with nine goals, Michael Ohanu and Ndifreke Effiong of Kwara United are joint eight goal scorers while the likes of Nwankwo, Godwin Obaje, Fatai Abdullahi  of Abia Warriors, Ibrahim Mustapha of Plateau United and Rabiu Ali of Kano Pillars are on seven goals each.

Yet the  Lagos state-born forward has already set his sight on a  double digits goals as he poised for top scorer award at the end of the season.

“Well, I will categorize my performance for Nasarawa United this season as ‘B’ because I am not where I should be yet,” Nwankwo told NationSport. “Scoring seven goals means a lot to my growth in the game and it’s indicating something bigger is coming.”

He added: “Yeah, that hat-trick against Abia Warriors in Lafia was my first career hat-trick. It was a mentality and career-changing moment for me. Before then, I was scoring goals, but it has since defined what I can do on the field of play. Generally, it was an unbelievable moment for me

“My season’s goal target is to get the double digits – from 20 upward, even though we are in the final stanza of the league. I want to be the highest goal scorer at the end of the season.”

The Solid Miners defeated Kwara United 2-1 in the match day 20 encounter at Lafia Township Stadium last Sunday to move to sixth position on the log with 33points.

Nwankwo knows how competitive the NPFL is but he believes that the Lafia-based outfit has all it takes to end the season among the top three clubs.

He explained: “I believe we (Nasarawa United) can finish among the top three teams at the end of the League season. Our main target is to win the trophy and also play in the continent. Even though it’s a tough fight, impossible is nothing. It will be an amazing feeling to win the current league. It’s not insurmountable, though.”

The energetic hit-man grew up in Lagos where he started his football career, and ever since, has made up his mind by choosing football as a profession.

“If I wasn’t a football player, I would still be a footballer because when I was younger, I slept and woke up with Football,” he said. “Football, like any other sport, comes with plethora of challenges.

“It’s never easy to get to the top. I almost gave up from infancy; but I encouraged myself never to give up.

“With persistence, hard work and focus, I am overcoming all of those challenges. I have conditioned myself to train hard, anticipate and prepare for any scenario because today’s challenge is tomorrow’s prize.”

As a young player he adored Barnabas Imenger, who would later be his teammate at Nasarawa United.

“My idol then is current Nasarawa United attacker, Barnabas Imenger. My foreign idol is former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry while my dream club is Manchester United of England.

“My wish is to play in of the best leagues in Europe, win trophies, including the UEFA Champions League.”

Nwankwo ambition like any other aspiring player is to play for the senior national team (Super Eagles) and he hopes one day his dreams would come to a reality.

“I am working hard also to get a national team call-up because that is the height of patriotism in football as footballer. I want to see myself helping Nigeria win trophies,” Nwankwo stated.

He started his professional football career at Crown FC of Ogbomosho before he moved to Sunshine Stars and joined Nasarawa United at the beginning of the season.

Nwankwo is energetic, full of speed and is fearless to take on defenders. Very good in the air, has excellent football control, precise shooting, gifted with skills and a wonderful team player. He is a thorn in defenders’ flesh and he is also a workaholic.

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