Former Kano Pillars captain, Gambo Muhammad who is inarguably one of the best strikers in Nigeria’s Professional Football League told Trust Sports exclusively that he has departed his childhood club to join Katsina United because he wants to change environment and enjoy regular football. However, after 12 years in the NPFL with Kano Pillars, the former Super Eagles striker is not done with the ‘masu gida’ boys of Kano as he said he would like to end his f career in the green and gold colours of Pillars.
After spending 12 years in Kano Pillars, you left the ‘masu gida’ boys to join Katsina United. What informed this decision at the twilight of your illustrious career?
As you’re aware, a footballer is like a temporal/casual staff. He has no permanent job or office. He may be working here today and working somewhere the next day. So that’s how I found myself in Katsina United. It’s totally not the way some people are seeing it. I have no single problem with Kano Pillars. I just decided to change environment, to experience life elsewhere. After discussing with my family, I took that decision.
It has been said Kano Pillars ‘bribed’ you with huge sum of money for you to leave the club? How true is this?
Why would a club do such a thing? Bribe me to leave? For what reason? No. It’s absolutely not true. Yes, of course they gave me some reasonable amount of money but not as it is being circulated in the public domain. It’s only a decision I took on my own.
Are you sure your decision to leave Pillars is based only on the need to change environment?
To be honest with you another reason for that decision is that I need more playing time. I decided to go to a club where I will be playing regularly. I want to play as many matches as possible. The truth of the matter is that I am not getting younger. One day I will quit the stage so this is the time for me to play.
Are you saying you were no longer a happy player in Kano Pillars?
Well, something like that. No good player enjoys sitting on the bench week in week out. Unfortunately, most of the times, I was on the bench even when the team was not doing very well. And at times, I was introduced as a substitute. The annoying thing is that sometimes those selected ahead of weren’t better than me. Therefore, I decided to move to the club that has assured me of enough playing time.
And how were you received by katsina United fans?
I have nothing more to say than to appreciate them. I received warm reception when I arrived the city of Katsina and the team’s training ground. Moreover, considering the proximity between Katsina and Kano, I still feel very much at home. The teeming fans of Katsina United are eagerly waiting to see me play for their darling team.
Would you say there are competent players in your new club?
The club is an ambitious one with talented players. Since they returned to the topflight, they have been doing well. So even as I am targeting more playing time, it does not mean it will be a stroll in the park for me. Everybody is going to fight for shirts in the team. I am ready to sweat to play regularly. I am not the only big player that has joined Katsina United.
What then would you say are the chances of Katsina United in this year’s NPFL season?
Honestly, I hope we’re going to improve on our previous performances. We have a new coach who has European experience so I believe he is going to guide us. I won’t be surprised, if we win the league title.
What’s your message to Katsina United fans?
I appeal to them to maintain the tempo in supporting the club. And they should desist from engaging in act that can jeopardize the club. On our own part as players, we’re going to deliver by taking the club higher.
Do you still hope to play for the Super Eagles?
As you know, I have been there before. I represented Nigeria in the 2013 FIFA Confederation Cup in Brazil. I have been in and out of the Super Eagles. I still have something to offer the Super Eagles. Football is not only about age but experience as well. I have rich experience to share with upcoming players in the national team. So if I am given another opportunity, I will do my best to shame those who have written me off.
After some failed trials, are you still hoping to play professional football abroad?
Well, it is the dream of any domestic player to play in Europe. I have that dream too and I fervently pray Allah will make it possible for me to be there. Whatever He chooses for us is the best. If Allah decides that one should end his career at home, there is nothing he can do. I know of many talented players in Nigeria who didn’t make it to Europe. My prayer is that whatever we do here should be blessed.
If tomorrow Kano Pillars invite you to play for them again, would you oblige them?
Kano Pillars made me who I am today. I can never turn them down. My history won’t be complete without a mention of Kano Pillars. It is my dream to end my football career in Kano with Pillars. I have no problem with anyone in the club. Nobody forced me out so I will listen to them anytime they call. However, my loyalty now is to Katsina United.