Former Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) sides, Kano Pillars and Katsina United will kick-start their campaign in the Nigeria National League (NNL) today as they aim to make a quick return to the Nigerian topflight.
The duo was relegated to the lower division of Nigeria professional football league last season along with Heartland FC and MFM of Lagos.
While Katsina United will welcome City FC of Abuja to the Muhammadu Dikko stadium in Katsina in Group A2, former Nigerian champions, Kano Pillars will make a short trip to Sokoto to face Sokoto United in a Group A3 contest.
Considering their pedigree in Nigerian football, expectations are therefore high that the two northern teams which would win their opening fixtures to lay down the marker.
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Interestingly, even as both clubs have lost some of their key players following their relegation to the lower division, they still have their inspirational captains Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars) and Usman Bara’u (Katsina United) to lead them in the campaign.
Other clubs in the same group with Kano Pillars are Kebbi United, Malumfashi, Kebbi United and Zamfara United while Katsina United have Green Beret of Zaria, FWC Champions Abuja, NAF Abuja and Jigawa Golden Stars.
In a chat with Daily Trust Tuesday, Katsina United’s new signing, Kenneth Kumbur Amia, said the ‘Chanji Boys’ will go for the maximum points against City FC of Abuja.
He said victory in the opening match of the season will give them the much needed confidence to approach their remaining matches in the abridged league season.
“Our target is to win the maximum points because that will boost our morale and propel us to win our future matches. We have been working hard and I believe we would put smiles on the faces of our fans.
“Everybody knows that our target is to return to the NPFL immediately but we are not putting ourselves under pressure. We shall take it one game at a time.
“I know City FC will prove stubborn tomorrow (today) but we shall fall back on our wealth of experience to beat them,” said the former Kano Pillars and Nasarawa United attacking winger.
Meanwhile, in some of the Matchday one fixtures billed for today and tomorrow across the country, Go-Round will battle Vandrezzer, Abia Comets face Heartland, Crown welcomes Gateway United, Mighty Jets dare EFCC, while Adamawa United tackle Yobe Stars.