Longtime left-back Chris Madaki ends his stint with Kano Pillars
After four strong years, starting left-back Chris Madaki has parted ways with Kano Pillars. He will still be in the NPFL as he signed with Nasarawa United where he can get another chance to win the league.
Over the years, Madaki has been a constant presence in the Pillars squad. He was always a reliable player who can both defend and score goals when needed. That kind of skill set for a left-back is difficult to get especially in the NPFL. Madaki is not the only player who has been left out of the Kano squad.
Joining Madaki in leaving the Pillars squad are ace goalkeeper Suraju Ayeleso, Victor Dennis, Auwalu Ali Malam, and Nyima Nwagua. The front office wanted to reset the squad when they splurged on 11 signings in the offseason. It was a surprising move but it is clear that Madaki and the rest of the squad had to exit.
Madaki was a vital cog
Madaki was not only a big name on the team but he was a vital cog in their offence. He was a playmaking full-back or wing-back for a long while. He can generate offence out of nothing which is a valuable skill in the NPFL.
Kano ended with the fifth seed in the 2020-21 NPFL season. They were a contender for most of the campaign but they fell off in the final few weeks with three losses in the last five games. That gave the front office enough reason to hit the reset button and let the players leave the club and sign 11 new footballers.
Pillars will most likely struggle
It will be hard for the Pillars to recover from losing so many players. Madaki is probably the biggest loss alongside Ayeleso because these two players were vital cogs in their system with both defence and offence. It is hard to quickly switch from an established squad to a new team in a quick fashion.
Losing vital cogs on a team is always a big blow to their potential success especially if those players defined the club’s culture over the past few years. It is rare to have a lightning bolt strike twice for a football team.
Pillars had the talent to keep up in previous seasons but now, they have some good players but they have not proven that they can play with each other at the highest level of Nigerian football. This mass exodus from the Pillars squad was a rough event for the club because they needed good players to compete for the NPFL title.
The new players can emerge as strong pieces in the system but that is unlikely. Hopefully, for the club and their fans, they can contribute so they can compete and stay in the Nigerian top-flight in the 2021-22 season.
Words: Cholo Martin