West Ethiopian side Jimma Aba Jifar has made progress in the last two rounds of the Ethiopian Premier League. The newly promoted side registered two wins in a row in week 7 and 8 encounters as they collect maximum points following a dreadful start of the season. Aba Jifar’s headway to the top of the table is instigated by Nigerian import Okiki Afolabi. The forward, who had unsuccessful trail stint with South African side Kaizer Chiefs, struck six goals for Jimma Aba Jifar including a second half hat trick against ArbaMinch Ketema on Monday, December 25. His hat trick at ArbaMinch brought changes to the Crocodiles technical bench as Tsegaye Kidanemariam got the sack likewise Gebremedhin Haile’s charges registered their first away three points of the season.
In an exclusive interview with Soccer Ethiopia, Afolabi attributed team work for the team’s recent success. “I think it is the spirit we have at the team. Our coach and management have also share a lot on the betterment of our performances in the last two ties. Our coach tells us every day ‘don’t worry. We will win.’ It is nothing but the team effort.”
Jimma Aba Jifar has a problem in converting chances. That was demonstrated in the last 8 games where the team could only manage to struck 7 times. Afolabi almost bagged all the goals that Jimma Aba Jifar struck. Six goals to his name thus far Afolabi play down comments that he singlehandedly led Jimma to victories although during the week 8 game he proved he a goal poacher. “My goals came from team work. There is no mystery to this rather the goals that I have been scoring is credit it to the team work. Everybody in the team work together and we are happy on how things are unfolding in the recent rounds. We want to be perfect and achieve a better result,” said Afolabi.
Since the 1999 season no Ethiopian side that got promotion crowned champions of the topflight league, nonetheless, Afolabi targets the league title and eventual appearance in the premier African club competitions. He states he would be thrilled to get individual accolades. “Yes I want to compete for the top goal scorer award but first and foremost I want to help Jimma in securing continental status next season. I think I can win the top goal scorer award. God will do it for me. The only thing needed from me is that being a professional and do what I do in a perfect and good way. With hard work comes success.”
Coach Gebremedhin hailed Afolabi after Jimma Aba Jifar stunned ArbaMinch Ketema 3-1. Geberemedhin in his post-match presser described Afolabi’s form special. With the race for the top scorer gong intensifying Afolabi is expected to be the front runner for the reminder of the season.