A former Super Eagles player and Head Coach of Kano Pillars, Ahmed Garba ‘Yaro Yaro’ has said the ‘Masu gida’ boys will enjoy more attention in the second round of the Nigeria Professional Football League because of super star, Ahmed Musa’s presence in the team. In this interview with Trust Sports, the Kano Pillars legend explained how the club and Musa are going to benefit from the recently signed short term loan deal. He also spoke on Pillars readiness for the second stanza of the 2021 NPFL season.
How prepared are Kano Pillars for the second stanza of the 2021 NPFL?
We are ready for the second round. At the beginning of the season, we struggled a bit because of the changes in the team. We had a new coach and new players who were yet to blend. However, as time went on, we blended and the team picked up from there. You can see that we are now second on the table. What we are doing now is to prepare more for new challenges in the second round. We have told the players not to be complacent. Second round is going to be more difficult.
To what extent did Pillars make use of the transfer window?. Are we going to see new players in the team?
Yes, we made judicious use of the transfer window. We have signed six or seven new players who are going to add value to the team. These are well known players, tested and trusted. Some are from the other top clubs in the league. Without doubt, the biggest of them all is the Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa who has joined us on a short term loan deal. Certainly, from now henceforth, all eyes will be on Pillars because of Ahmed Musa.
In concrete terms, how important is the signing of Ahmed Musa to Kano Pillars?
We are short of words to express our happiness. It is a thing of immense importance to have the captain of Super Eagles in our team. He is a very important player. Musa is going to make a great difference in the team. Already our camp is bubbling because of him. Considering his experience, he can serve as a coach-player. He is also an inspiration to the younger players in the team. We are going to benefit from him and he will in turn benefit from us.
Surely, Pillars are expecting many goals from the fleet-footed attacking winger…
You can say that again. We all know the quality he possesses. We are expecting goals from him. He is a very good finisher who does not only score goals but provide assists as well. He is pacy and can cause problems especially for slow defenders. He is the best striker in the team so we expect goals from him. However, we believe in team work. We have other tested strikers in the team who are going to complement him.
What is your assessment of Musa relationship with his team mates?
It is very cordial. Don’t forget that even before now, he usually returned to train with Kano Pillars anytime he was on holiday. Although most of the players are new to him, he has already integrated himself with them. He has made them to understand that he is not different. Musa is easy going and is willing to lend a helping hand when and where it is necessary.
Is it true that he will be playing only home matches for Pillars?
I am only a coach. I don’t have access to the contract that he signed. I am sure he gave Pillars some conditions and Pillars must have given him their conditions too. I don’t know, if there was anything like that. It is possible for such a clause to be included in the contract.
Would you advise other Super Eagles players in Europe to emulate Ahmed Musa?
Honesty, I am in the best position to advise them. I did the same thing three times. When I was in Tunisia and my contract expired, I returned to play for Pillars. After my time in Saudi Arabia, I still returned to Pillars. I went back to play in Denmark and still returned to Kano Pillars. Staying in Europe without a club is a waste of time. I like what Musa has done and I encourage other players to emulate him. Whenever they lose form or face other challenges, they should come back home. They can come and play for a short time and go back. It is good that Musa is back to the NPFL. He is going to benefit from this wise decision. He will return to Europe a better player. The physicality in the NPFL will keep him fit for business in Europe.
Away from Ahmed Musa, how do you fancy Pillars chances of winning the 2021 NPFL title?
Our chances are bright but there is a small issue that must be addressed. We all thought that before the second stanza commences, Enyimba would have played all their outstanding matches. Unfortunately, this is not the case. If LMC can extend the break by three weeks to enable Enyimba play their outstanding matches, it will be in the interest of everyone. Now that the second round is going to commence and Enyimba are still having four outstanding matches, anything can happen.
What then is your advice to the LMC?
I will prefer they shift the resumption of the second round. I believe almost all the clubs will support this. If we can start the second round on level terms, there will be no misgivings anywhere. However, if Enyimba’s outstanding matches are not cleared in time, we may have the same problem we had last season when the league ended abruptly and Points Per Game, PPG, mechanism was adopted to chose continental representatives.
What is your assessment of officiating in the league?
The referees have stepped up their game and must be commended. Nobody is talking about biased officiating again. Whenever they err, we understand with them because they are also human beings.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, do you support calls for fans to be allowed to come back into the stadiums?
Well, my concern is not even COVID-19. It is the problem of insecurity. How are we going to cope with the problems that might arise, if fans are allowed back?. Every day, we hear about killings. Can we handle the crowd in the stadia?. If there will be adequate security, then we can have fans back. It is good to have fans cheering their teams.a