Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ogbonnaya ready for Al-Malakia

Reuben Ogbonnaya

Kano Pillars defender Reuben Ogbonnaya is optimistic that the team’s training tour of Ghana will put them in good shape for their first leg Caf African Champions League preliminary round game against South Sudan's Al-Malakia FC.

The reigning Glo Premier League champions spent the last week in Ghana where they played two warm-up matches to test their readiness for the continent's biggest club competition.

Pillars drew 2-2 with First Capital Bank Premier League side Accra Hearts of Oak before defeating the Ghanaian Under-23 side, the Black Meteors 1-0 in the last game of the tour.

“I’m glad we went on that tour because it enabled us to work on some aspects of our game that needed sorting out. It was a very good workout for me personally,” the former El-Kanemi Warriors defender told supersport.com.

That's me ( in white, in case you didn't know) with Reuben Ogbonnaya at the Super Four in Abuja

“We noticed some lapses in our game during the recently concluded Super Four tournament in Abuja. We used the week we spent in Ghana to try and correct those areas we were lacking.

“Our coaches put us (players) through our paces and I can assure you the team is ready to go to South Sudan and get a win there."

Kano Pillars, who came back into the country on Monday and went straight to Kaduna, will likely leave for South Sudan on Thursday or Friday.

Ogbonnaya says the country should rally behind the team as they will do their best not to disappoint.

“We have a rest today (Monday), but we will train on Tuesday,” he said.

“Pillars aren't representing Kano State, but the whole of Nigeria and I’m calling on all the fans across the country to support us as we try to bring the Caf Champions League back to Nigeria.

"But before that we have to navigate our way through to the group stages and then we can begin to talk up winning the trophy. We will not disappoint Nigerians."

Ogbonnaya was a standout performer for El-Kanemi Warriors in the 2013/2014 season which saw him earn a move to champions Kano Pillars.

Kano Pillars will this weekend visit South Sudanese side Al-Malakia in a first leg match of the preliminary round of the 2015 Caf Champions League, with the return leg on the weekend of February 27.

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