I-League 2018-19: Minerva Punjab sign Nigerian striker Donatus Edafe
I-League club Minerva Punjab FC have signed striker Donatus Edafe on Thursday, the club announced on their Twitter profile. The Nigerian striker played for Slovenian club FC Gorica before joining the Chandigarh-based side.
Last year’s I-League champion Minerva Punjab have failed to find their mojo so far. The club is reeling at the bottom of the table with just one point from two matches. They drew at home against Churchill Brothers before losing their away match against debutant Real Kashmir.
Moreover, the injury of Japanese striker Yu Kuboki has harmed their chances. Minerva already sold their star striker Chencho Gyeltsen to Bengaluru FC. Some of the other vital players were roped in by East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and other clubs. Minerva had to sign someone who can score goals. It seems young Edafe was the best option they had.
The Nigerian started his football journey from local club Jigawa GoldenStars FC, where he spent his youth career. He joined Mighty Jets FC and spent one season on the Nigerian club. He joined Slovenian club ND Gorica in February last year. Gorica is one of the most successful clubs of Slovenia.
He made an immediate impact when he came off the bench and scored against Koper to secure Europa League ticket for his club. The club finished ahead of Olimpija. That was, in fact, the first league goal for Edafe. He scored again in August 2017 against Domzale and was subsequently secured his place his Slovenian Team of the Week. In total, Edafe scored five goals for Gorica in 23 matches.
Defending champions Minerva have already lost some of their key players to various clubs. Along with Chencho, Sukhdev Singh, Rakshit Dagar all have switched their allegiance. No club have ever defended their title. East Bengal did it 15 years ago but the league was named National Football League then.
With a host of youngsters in their ranks, Minerva will try to finish in a credible position. The league is tougher this time around and it will be an arduous task for Minerva to keep pace with others.
Whether or not Edafe will feature in Minerva’s next game against Aizawl FC is not known. But it needs to be seen what difference the Nigerian can make in future.