Warri Wolves striker, Sikiru Alimi, has told npfl.ng how heartbroken he is since the relegation of his team from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) after an underwhelming season.
Alimi has attributed the poor season of the Warri club to two factors - the changes in coaching and playing personnel and then the management of the team.
The former First Bank FC and Union Bank FC forward is bitterly disappointed to have found himself at a club where they are relegated at the end of a league campaign and revealed that it is his first experience as a professional footballer being involved in such an incident.
The 20-year-old remains upset that Warri Wolves could not build on their impressive performance of the 2014/15 season when they finished second behind Enyimba, and feels letting some of the big and influential players leave before the start of the just-concluded season proved costly for the club.
"I have never found myself in this kind of situation (of being relegated with a club) because it is either I am on top or I am trying to be among the top with my club. This is a big setback for me as an individual and at the same time, it is a big loss for the club and the fans. I am pained because my name goes with this relegation. If they want to call the names of players for played for the club this season, I will also be mentioned and that is very painful. But Heaven knows why we were relegated this season.
"For me, I think we had too many ups and downs in the season. On the management side, the club had issues. That is one of the reasons but I will prefer not to talk about that. At the same time, most of my teammates who helped the club to second place the previous season all left for different reasons, and that meant that the club had to build an almost new team. We also had coaches come and go and that affected the team because every coach will come with his own playing style and we had to start adjusting. Unfortunately this is where we have found ourselves - relegated," Alimi told npfl.ng of his pain.
Despite finishing as the club's top scorer in the season with six goals, Alimi said without mincing words: "It was a very disappointing season for us all. My goals didn't matter at the end."
Alimi scored Warri Wolves' last goal of the season as they managed a 1-0 win over Ikorodu United on the final day, but it proved inadequate for his team to escape the drop.