Kano Pillars centre-back Abdullahi Musa has said playing for the Home-based Super Eagles at the 2018 Africa Nations Championship, CHAN in Morocco is his biggest achievement in football for now. He also told Trust Sports that Kano Pillars will do everything humanly possible to win the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League title to atone for their early exit from this year’s CAF Champions League. The former Wikki Tourists captain also said he was disappointed that his dream of excelling with the ‘masu gida’ boys in the continent was aborted so early in the campaign. He, however, said 2020 NPFL season will be a fruitful year for Kano Pillars.
How did you start your football career?
I am from Kano State so just like many football players in Nigeria, I started playing football when I was very small in Tudun Maliki here in Kano. I started my football career in the streets but we all had serious passion for the game. I can still remember when I was playing in the streets with my friends before we later joined our seniors. However, I started to play organised football when I joined my first club Pama FC. From there I joined my first amateur division club, that was Ramsy FC. I was part of the team that helped Ramsy move up to state amateur 2. From Ramsy FC, I played for a number of amateur clubs before I was signed by a Nigeria Professional Football club, Wikki Tourists of Bauchi. As a matter of fact, before I left Wikki to join Kano Pillars, I was the captain of the club. So I must thank almighty Allah for his blessings.
You were doing very well in Wikki Tourists. Why did you leave them to join Kano Pillars?
I think my reason for joining Kano Pillars is very obvious. Without attempting to undermine my former club, everybody knows that Kano Pillars are in a class of their own. Almost every good player in the Nigeria Professional Football League will not resist any offer to play for Kano Pillars. So when they approached me to play for them, I had no reason to turn down the offer. Moreover, they had just qualified to play in the continent. I wanted continental football and a chance to play for my state club. So I had no issues in Wikki but the offer from Kano Pillars was irresistible.
How disappointed are you with the early exit of Kano Pillars from the CAF Champions League?
To be honest with you, we are all disappointed. We had prepared very well for the competition and looking at the calibre of talents in the team, nobody expected that we would crash out so early. So it was a rude shock to many of us. However, football is unpredictable so it happened. We have since moved on from that big disappointment.
What would you say was responsible for the failure?
I think there were technical mistakes and we failed to make good use of home advantage in our first match in Kano. We were supposed to win convincingly but we didn’t. Had it been we utilized some of the chances we got and scored as many goals as possible, it could have been a different story by now.
What message do you have for Kano Pillars fans?
We all are aware that we have disappointed them but they should continue giving us the usual and needed support. We promise to do better in future games.
What is next for Kano Pillars?
Our attention has since shifted to the Nigeria Professional Football League and the Aiteo Cup. We came close to winning the title last year so we want to go a step further this year. And as defending champions of the Aiteo Cup, we want to successfully retain the trophy.
You are from Kano, what does playing for Pillars mean to you?
I am very proud. Even when I was very small, I was a passionate fan of the club. So playing for Kano Pillars now is dream come true. So realising my dream of being part of Kano Pillars today makes me really proud.
If you were not playing for Kano Pillars, which other club would you like to play for?
I won’t mind playing for Plateau United. That is another club that I like so much. There are so many reasons why I would like to play for Plateau United but the most important is that my brother is also playing for them. However, my love for Kano Pillars surpasses all.
You were a member of the 2018 CHAN Eagles. Could you share your 2018 CHAN experience with us?
For now, playing for the national team at CHAN 2018 is the biggest achievement I have made in football. It was such an amazing experience. I came back with a lot of experiences from CHAN 2018. It really made a better player. I think that is just the summary.
How confident are you of playing for the main Super Eagles?
I am very optimistic, that one day I will get there and I will do very well if given the opportunity. I am just waiting, and I am hopeful it will come. You see when it was my time to play for the Home based Super Eagles, it didn’t cost me anything. It happened naturally. So I am hoping that I will still be a member of the next CHAN Eagles.
Is it true that you were a professional butcher?
It is very true. That is our family trade and that is what my parents still do for a living. In my spare time, I still give them a helping hand. I don’t think that I will abandon my family business simply because I have become a professional football player.
How popular are you in your area in Kano?
This is one thing I enjoyed so much. I am very popular in my area in Kano. Almost everybody knows me and my fan base is even growing so fast now that I have returned home to play for Kano Pillars. Some are also surprised that I have moved from being a professional butcher to a professional football player.