The Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL) is an initiative birthed by Pace Sports and Entertainment Management Limited, in association with the Nigeria University Games Association (NUGA). Its first season, which was an unprecedented success provided a springboard from which the second season exploded from, a season which has been even more impactful because of HiFL’s collaboration with Premier Cool.
Premier Cool, who is the official brand partner of Manchester City Football Club is a brand that has grown to be a strong contender in the market over the past decade and it has always been a brand associated with the development of grassroots football in the country, getting behind several initiatives that promote the development of the football sector.
Premier Cool’s sponsorship of the HiFL has elevated the profile of the competition and opened up new avenues for the budding student footballers and their coaches. One of such avenues is the HiFL Coaching Clinic organized by Premier Cool. This particular initiative is groundbreaking in that it is a high value and high impact programme that brought together some of the best coaches in the world to relate and share knowledge with a few other coaches in an engaging and interactive 3-day experience.
2 Coaches from the Man City took 25 HiFL coaches on a thrilling ride for 2 days where they had a deep dive into coaching techniques, then went on the pitch to have some energetic, yet refreshing training sessions. At the end of the programme, the HiFL coaches were presented with certificates from Manchester City FC. The coaches, as well as the student footballers, benefited immensely from the experience.
The last season of the competition already birthed inspiring success stories, students that have used the HiFL platform to go further in their football careers and we love it. This season was no different, as footballers gave the competition their all, and put in one hundred percent. Some incredible players also emerged at the end.
This season’s HiFL didn’t go by without its own full dose of drama, as things got intense from right from the start of the knockout stages. A lot of ties were dragged into their final minutes and this season, some brilliant goalkeepers were showcased, as well as some very good clinical finishers. Also, the fan turnout also took on a more robust outlook, compared to previous editions of the tournament.
Esut Explorers, OAU Giants, Uniben Royals, UAM Tillers all made it to make it into the last four of the HiFL competition but there was even a bigger drama, as investigations prompted the inevitable disqualification of Esut Explorer. Unical Malabites got a recall to replace their disqualified counterparts and this act saw them featured in the HiFL Super 4 show off event which took place in Radisson Blu.
OAU Giants and Unilorin Warriors found themselves slugging it out for the third position and OAU Giants came out victorious… The Final had superstar Small Doctor perform, before kickoff, after which Unical Malabites and UAM Tillers went head-to-head for a chance at victory. Unical Malabites came out victorious in a dramatic showdown that went on to penalty shootout. It was an all-round emotional moment for the Malabites who only had a second chance at the competition due to the prior disqualification.
The elite awards followed, where a number of outstanding performances over the course of the tournament were duly recognized. With Premier Cool, developing grassroots football is an ongoing project, join the conversation on our pages @PremierCoolng (Instagram, Twitter), and Premier Cool Nigeria on Facebook, and maybe our next football initiative could be the right fit for you.