By George Akpayen
Nyima Nwagua has told npfl.ng that he has that feeling of inspiring optimism that his club Kano Pillars can throw their hat in the ring for the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and the AITEO Cup titles in the coming season.
The striker joined Kano Pillars in the mid-season transfer window of last season from another NPFL side Lobi Stars and at that time, the former league champions finished in 14th place with 24 points, 11 behind leaders Plateau United, after 19 matches.
By the time, the season came to a halt, Pillars could only manage an eighth position finish with 54 points, 12 less than eventual champions Plateau United. An outing that is underwhelming considering the standard and performance of the club in the league in recent years.
Nwagua has now made it clear that their target for the coming season will be to compete for the league and Cup double.
“The double is our target,” said Nwagua to npfl.ng.
“I am hungry (for trophies) which is the most important thing in the career of any footballer.
“It is going to be my first time starting a season with Kano Pillars and I am optimistic that we can do better this time. Also, I know that much is expected from me and my teammates. So we have been working hard to kickstart with a better form.”
PARTNERSHIP WITH LOKOSA
Nwagua knows that if Kano Pillars must succeed next season, it will largely depend on the group that the club’s head coach Musa Ibrahim is putting together for the 2017/18 season.
One of such players in the group is Junior Lokosa whom he formed a seamless partnership with in attack.
The Lokosa-Nwagua partnership accounted for 10 of the 21 goals Kano Pillars scored in the second round of last season – a figure that represents 48 per cent.
He now holds a quiet hopeful that he can continue his attacking valve with Lokosa from last campaign. At the same time he is a little leery of making any kind of pronouncement on how their partnership will pan out in the coming campaign.
“I honestly enjoyed playing alongside everyone in the team last season. Rabiu Ali was very important for us. Kamal too. Chinedu (Udoji) in defence as well. Everyone worked as a team and I believe we will do same in the coming season with the help of our coaches,” said to npfl.ng.
“In attack I liked the kind of partnership I enjoyed with Junior. He is a selfless player who works hard on the pitch and is full of energy too. For now I can’t say how things will look like in the new season for us (Junior and I) but I trust we can do better than last season.”
The 24-year-old whose first name Nyima translated from his mother tongue means wisdom in English Language, was tactful in saying: “I am not mentioning numbers (of goals I will score) now.”
He explained that his paramount concern is to ensure that Kano Pillars finish next season with at least a trophy, or trophies, having failed to win anything or make an impact in the past three seasons since they won the NPFL title in 2014.
“The most important thing like I said is to help the club win games, and when we can win games we increase our chances of winning trophies. So a trophy, or even two, will not be bad for us next season,” Nwagua rounded off.