Kano Pillars aim to go beyond CAF Champions League semifinal
AITEO Cup champions, Kano Pillars believe they can go beyond the semifinals of the CAF Champions League, which they reached in the 2009 edition of the competition.
Kano Pillars got to the semifinals of the competition in 2009 where they lost to Heartland of Owerri. The Sai Masu Gida, who finished second in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) last season, are billed to meet Ghana’s Asante Kotoko in the first round of the competition.
On Monday, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje directed Pillars to remain in Kaduna for closed camping ahead of their encounter with Ashanti Kotoko in Kano on August 9.
The Media Officer of the club, Idris Malikawa said the governor made the decision to free the players and officials from the worries that normally dog teams before crucial games.
A top official of the club, who pleaded anonymity, said the players have decided to work hard to ensure they scale the Kotoko challenge.
“Our main concern now is to beat Kotoko after which we will look at ways of beefing up the team to a championship-winning side.
“We got to the semifinals in 2009 and could have won the trophy if not for little mistakes. Now, we are not taking chances because this is a competition we can win.”
He disclosed that the state government has embarked on a complete facelift of the Sani Abacha Stadium to make it suitable for the CAF Champions League, adding that it would be ready before the game.
Meanwhile, Asante Kotoko head coach, Kjetil Zachariassen has expressed his side’s readiness to overcome Kano Pillars in the first-round game.
According to footballghana.com, the Norwegian downplays the notion of a first eleven and insisted that selection will be based on merit.
“We are monitoring them as much as we can, they played the Nigerian FA cup final. Kano Pillars are strong inoffensive but possibly we will be on top of our game because we have been preparing for the past three weeks,” said Zachariassen.
“All our players are ready and good enough to play that’s why we changed the entire team before the end of the game against Rahimo.” I have the first 28 but not 11. Some players didn’t train because of slight injuries”.
He added, “Abege is very nice and a professional so he is bound to succeed”. We have our plans and always train on everything we need and knows will benefit our players”.