✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters

Kenneth Amia: I am committed to helping Katsina United return to NPFL

Katsina United new signing, Kenneth Kumbur Amia, has expressed readiness to support the club’s ambition to return to the Nigerian topflight at the end of…

Katsina United new signing, Kenneth Kumbur Amia, has expressed readiness to support the club’s ambition to return to the Nigerian topflight at the end of the ongoing Nigeria National League (NNL) season. In this interview with Trust Sports, the former Kano Pillars and Nasarawa United attacking winger spoke on his debut against City FC, life in Katsina and the need for enhanced welfare for players in Nigeria league.

How happy are you with Katsina United’s opening win of the season against City FC Abuja on Wednesday?

It was a well deserved victory and exactly what we wanted to get from the match. The plan was for us to start the campaign on a brilliant note by winning the maximum points. However, we are not going to dwell too much on the victory. It has come and gone so we are now focused on the next match.

It may be said the opposition was not strong enough. Was it a stroll in the park for Katsina United?

Politicians planting allies in INEC – Kenneth Okonkwo

Asake, Ayra Starr, Kizz Daniel nominated for 2023 VGMAs

It will be unfair to say that our opponents didn’t give us a good test because no competitive match is easy. City FC didn’t travel all the way from Abuja to come and lose in Katsina. They obviously wanted to win but they met a more formidable team in Katsina United. As a matter of fact, it was not an easy match for us because playing in the lower division is not easy at all. The style of play in the NNL is not the same as what is obtainable in the NPFL. The NNL is more of physical play than tactics. I believe we will soon adjust to it. The most important thing is that we won our match convincingly.

Your next fixture is another home match against Green Berets of Zaria. What should fans of Katsina United expect from the players?

They should expect nothing less than victory because we know that back-to-back victories will be good for our aspiration this season. Our opponents have been in the league for some time now so I believe it is not going to be easy. However, we want to build on the opening day victory and win as many matches as possible. In fact, if it is possible for us to win all our matches, we would be grateful. So, even as we are expecting a difficult match, our focus is still on the maximum points. Therefore, our fans should come out en masse to support us.

You have just joined Katsina United so how are you coping with life in the club?

Everything is going well to the glory of God. I am a professional football player so it didn’t take me long to adjust to the training and football philosophies of the coaches. The good thing is that Katsina United is like one big family that is united in the fight for promotion to the NPFL. As you are aware, the club got relegated from the NPFL last season and the ultimate desire of everyone is to see the club back in the Nigerian topflight. This has made things a bit easy for those of us who have come to team up the old players who were with the club when they were relegated last season. So, everything is fine and I am committed to contributing my quota to the promotion of Katsina United at the end of the season.

How were you recruited by the club?

Well, I was invited by the Technical Adviser based on a recommendation. When he watched my videos, I think he saw something he liked. Therefore, when the club resumed training, he called me to come over for him to take a closer look at me. I came and gave my best in training and I believe the technical crew saw something good and decided to give me a chance. This is one of the reasons I want to put in my best to justify the confidence reposed in me by the Technical Adviser, his assistants and the management committee.

How tough is the fight for shirts in the club?

It has not been easy. I know most people feel that Katsina United have lost their key players following the relegation to the NNL but the truth is that most of the big players are still here. There are some indigenous players like Captain Usman Bara’u, Nasiru Sani who have vowed to swim or sink with the club. Therefore, most of the big players who represented Katsina United in the 2021/2022 NPFL season are still around. So, getting a shirt is still not easy. One has to put in his best to make the team. Even as I am among the most experienced players in the club, I don’t need anyone to remind me to be on top of my game, if I am to get a chance to play.

You made your debut on Wednesday against City FC. How was the feeling?

It was a great feeling because I got the opportunity to play my first match for the club. I was introduced in the second half and I think I did my best to ensure that we picked the maximum points. The fans were also fantastic and I wasn’t surprised by their enthusiasm because I have played up north before so I know how passionate northerners are about football. I just hope the fans will continue to give us their unflinching support as we fight for the ticket to the NPFL.

How long have you been playing in the NPFL?

By the special grace of God, I have been around for some time now. I started with Lobi Stars Feeder where I was promoted to the senior team. I made my debut in the NPFL in our home match against Niger Tornadoes and I think that was the last match of that season. While we were preparing for the 2019/2020 season in Ijebu-Ode, Kano Pillars saw me and approached Lobi Stars. That was how I was signed by Pillars where I did two seasons. At the end of my contract, I left to join Nasarawa United where I played the 2021/2022 season of the NPFL.

What is your assessment of the Nigerian league?

The clubs are trying but they need to do more in the area of players’ welfare and respect for contracts. Most of the clubs don’t pay salaries as and when due. I was lucky that all the clubs I played for didn’t owe us salaries. It is a common thing to see players go on strike in the Nigerian league over non payment of salaries. I think this is one thing that the league organisers should look into. Another thing is the lack of respect for contracts. Most times, clubs sack players without recourse to the contracts they signed.

In concrete terms, what is your target in Katsina United?

Like I said earlier, I am ready and happy to support Katsina United with my wealth of experience in the search for NPFL promotion. Katsina United deserve to be in the topflight so we are putting all hands on deck to ensure we return to where we are supposed to be. With appropriate motivation from the State Government and the management committee, I believe Katsina United will play the next season in the NPFL.

%d bloggers like this: