Last week, Kano State Government named a 10-man Continental Committee headed by the state deputy governor, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, to steer Kano Pillars Football Club to victory and hitch-free CAF Confederation Cup Competition.
The committee is to serve and oversee the activity of the team throughout its 2020/2021 continental engagements, which is commencing on 27-29 of this month.
Other members of the committee are Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima (Executive Chairman of the state Sports Commission), Vice Chaiman; Comrade Kabiru Ado Lakwaya (the state Commissioner of Youths and Sports), member; Alhaji Surajo Shuaibu Yahaya (Chairman Kano Pillars), member, Alhaji Habibu Dukawa, member; Hajiya Surayya Aminu (Sai Mama), member and Alhaji Kabiru Baita (SA Sports to the governor).
The rest are Alhaji Ibrahim Sagagi (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports); Alhaji Ibrahim Mu’azzam Madaki (SSA Sports to the Governor); Alhaji Nuradden Alhassan Ahmad (Chairman Sports committee, Kano State House of Assembly); Alhaji Sharif Rabiu Inuwa Ahlan (Chairman Kano State Football Association) and Sayyadi Abdullahi (Kano Pillars Secretary).
I want to start by commending the administration of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje for doing the right thing at the right time. Also I welcome and congratulate all of the committee members for the confidence the government has on them.
I also call on them to work tirelessly to justify their inclusion in the committee by making sure that Kano Pillars not only scaled through the preliminary stage, but to fight harder and triumph in the group stage and then ultimately win the trophy.
No doubt, the formation of the committee and its composition is highly commendable and done at the right time.
It is only that the committee has no enough time to waste because the first leg of the preliminary round of the tournament against Jaraaf of Senegal is expected to hold in Senegal on 28 of this month.
Thus, the committee needs not to wait and waste time because it is not on their side.
Welcoming Kano Pillars FC Continental Committee
They need to start strategizing so that the first victory for the team is assured. And to make this possible, they need to focus on the antecedence of the team’s previous participation and performance of CAF competition, especially the 2009 and 2015 editions.
We are all aware that much was not achieved in the team’s 2015 CAF competition campaign, because Kano Pillars was handed an exit ticket from the competition by a Moroccan team in the second leg match of the second round of the preliminaries.
I am also aware that the early ouster of Kano Pillars Football Club in the competition in 2015 was not unconnected to the Kangaroo arrangements which was solely due to so many factors, among which were poor preparation that resulted due to the late release of funds.
But the 2009 Continental Committee headed by Alhaji Galadima did very well by taking Kano Pillars Football Club from preliminaries up to the Semi Finals of the competition.
That superlative performance was due to so many reasons, which included the early release of funds by the government.
That made the then committee to do its very best by taking care of all the necessary things before the competition which many saw as a hallmark of the team’s victory.
I could be remembered that the Galadima Committee secured the services of two foreign nationals in technical department that served as Technical Adviser and a Coach.
One Ivo Sajh from Slovenian of Europe and the other Mr. Malik Jabeer from Ghana.
The Ibrahim Galadima led committee also beefed up the team by recruiting some top, quality and experienced players from within and outside the country.
The committee also arranged friendly matches within the country and also sponsored a tour to a foreign country, South Africa in particular, for more friendly matches, a feat that solidified and fortified the team.
The then Galadima led committee show of care and support for Kano Pillars made the team not only defeated minor football teams like Wadad FC of Chad and Zesco of Zambia FC but also crushing giant African team of Egypt, Al-Ahly Football Club in their own familiar turf which gave Kano Pillars the qualification to group stage up to semi-finals.
That was why the 2009 continental outing was marked by book makers as best one in the history of Kano Pillars continental football competition participation.
I am happy Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, the man who steered the 2009 continental campaign of the Kano Pillars Football Club, is the Vice Chairman of the present committee.
From the above, I urge the committee to listen to Galadima and tap from his wealth of experience so that the 2009 continental committee’s achievement could be repeated or even more by taking the team up to the finals of this year’s CAF Confederation Cup competition.
I was informed that Kano Pillars will be playing all its matches at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna.
Welcoming Kano Pillars FC Continental Committee
If so, the committee needs to urgently visit the stadium and see all the repair works that are needed and put them before the arrival of the Facilities Inspectors visit, which is any time from now.
This is very important because if the visitors report is not favorable, the Kano Pillars risked of being drafted to another venue suitable by CAF.
To boost the club’s moral, I want the committee to urgently revise and double the players and officials entitlements.
This will for sure raise and boost the players’ and officials’ morale that will see them to playing harder and better to win matches which will brighten its chances of winning the trophy.
The committee should take players health condition serious by securing the services of a good medical team comprising of a qualified doctor and nurse among others, to cater for the team’s health challenges before, during and after matches.
Moreover, since there is no time to plan for training tour for the team, I advise the committee to urgently consider sending all the players on camping to restrict and monitor their movement, fitness and also make sure that the players get best treatment and a balanced diet.
The committee needs to start considering various training venues, locations and timings for the team so that the players would be exposed to training under various weather conditions and timings which will help them withstand and play better under any condition their opponents will want them to play.
The committee also needs to procure various and different types of sporting kits and equipment to address and match any weather condition the team will find itself playing.
The Dr. Nasiru Gawuna committee needs to identify and consider some selected supporters from the supporters club that will be there to cheer and propel the team to victory both at home and away matches.
Lastly, I am surprised and sad that the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), who are partners in progress, who also have a very big role to play in helping the team to victory are erroneously excluded from the continental committee membership.
To me, SWAN needs representation in this kind of arrangement. The chairman of Kano SWAN needs to be part of this committee.
If it is an error, I hope it will be corrected as soon as possible so that SWAN can be or feel not sidelined in a situation like this. Like I previously said, SWAN is a partner in progress and has a very vital and important role to play for the committee and Kano Pillars to succeed.
I wish the committee best of luck.