Grasshopper Handball Club of Owerri have set a target of winning the first phase of the 2018 Prudent Energy Premier Handball League at Abuja National Stadium.
A total of 12 teams will compete for the men’s top prize, while 10 teams will vie for honours in the female category.
The winners will go home with the sum of N1, 000, 000, the 2nd placed team N750, 000, while the third place winner will pocket N500, 000 in both categories.
There is a subsidy of N250, 000 in each phase with branded Jerseys for all the participating teams.
The male teams confirmed for the Premier League are Lagos Seasiders, COAS Shooters, Safety Shooters, De Defenders, Prison Key Boys, Niger United, Owena Kings, Kada Stars, Borno Spiders, Vipers of Plateau, Kano Pyramid and Sokoto Rima.
The female teams are Lagos Seasiders, Defenders Babes, Safety Babes, Edo Dynamos, Owena Queens, Imo Grasshoppers, Abia Valiant, Desert Queens of Katsina,Kada Queen and Peacocks of Plateau.
As the competition began Thursday, and final billed for May 6, Grasshopper coach, Ferdinand Emeana said he is confident that his players will retain the trophy they won three years ago.
Speaking in the wake of his side’s opening clash with Desert Queens, Emeana disclosed that his team has been training hard and declared that they are not ready to relinquish the title.
Emeana added: “I am sure that all will be well and Grasshoppers will be champions at the end of the Prudent Energy Handball League.
“We have trained very well and are not ready to lose that trophy at this competition. We know other clubs are also good in their own right, but we are in Abuja to remain champions.”
On her part, Lagos Seasiders coach, BukolaDuru said their male and female teams are ready to vie for the top prizes at the championship.
“Lagos Seasiders are ready to take home the trophies in both male and female categories. We have prepared very well and I’m confident that we will do well in Abuja.
“I’m not afraid of any team in the both categories because I’m confident of the calibre of players I have in the teams,” Duru concluded.