Kano Pillars travel down to neighboring state, Katsina in a mouthwatering opening of the season fixture on Saturday in a match described by Football experts as a ‘Brotherly affairs’.
Since the returned of the Chanji Boys into the elites league a season ago, the Northwestern Football enthusiasts derived a lot of excitement and pleasure from this fixture of reach history that dated back to nineties.
Pillars will attempt to win their first match of the season at the expense of their host at the newly constructed Muhammad Dikko Stadium.
After finishing the previous campaign in 8th place and missed out the chance to win the Aiteo Cup as there were eliminated on penalties by Yobe Desert in the round of 32.
However, the team is aiming to go places this season as the management and technical crew were able to spot the grey areas in the team that weakened them last season and those areas were adequately replaced.
Coach Ibrahim A Musa acquired the services of Ifeanyi Nweke, Ajebisi Ademola, Steven Eze, Nzube Anaezemba and Manu Garba coupled with few Young players who came through the junior teams to complement the squad.
The four time Nigerian Champions played in three major pre-season tourneys and emerged as Champions in two, the Gold Cup and the inaugural Ahlan’s Cup but failed to make same impact in the NPFL/LMC Super Six.
The Sai Masu Gida thumped both Giodano FC 2-1 and Rarara FC 3-1 in their two final warm up games, played at the SAS.
katsina United against all odds create a niche for themselves and were able to remain in the elites division after being the only surviving team of the teams promoted together with last season.
The Chanji Boys finished just off the relegation zone on the 16th spot, two points ahead of Shooting Stars, who finished 17th on the log and we’re eventually relegated to the NNL.
The likes of Remo Stars, Gombe United and ABS were relegated to the NNL as they failed to sustain the hit and pressure of the league.
Like Pillars, Katsina United had a decent pre-season, going as far as Niger Republic to play a warm up game and follow it up with tourneys such as the Gold and Ahlan’s Cups.
The team’s last warm up game before this crunch encounter was a 7-1 whitewashed of Dan Boskore, a side from Niger Republic.
PILLARS TEAM NEWS
Coach Ibrahim A Musa will have to do without his talisman, Rabiu Ali, Ifeanyi Nweke and Steven Eze who will both miss the start of the season as they’re far away, Morocco representing Nigeria in this year’s African Nations Championship, CHAN.
Apart from the players mentioned above, every other person is available for selection as the Coach will not be too short of option in all departments.
Prior to this meeting, Katsina United and Kano Pillars squared up three times since the start of last season with two wins for Pillars and just a win for United.
This same fixture ended in a 1-0 home win for both sides last season .
However, Pillars hammered their host 4-1 in the Ahlan’s pre-season Cup last December.
By Isma’eel Abba Tangalashi