Sports

ABS’s visit to Nasarawa, most difficult game for me – Kabir Dogo (with pix)

 

Coach Suleiman Kabir Dogo is the Magaji of Odo-Okun in Ilorin West Local Government of Kwara State. After coaching ABS Ilorin FC for many years, he joined the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side, Nasarawa United FC of Lafia in 2015 season.
Dogo has improved the Coast City team with a lot of achievements and records since joining the team. Qualifying them for Federation Cup final and getting a continental ticket in 2016 season, a feat the club has never achieved in its history. The team finished fifth in the just concluded 2017 NPFL season, one he described as disappointing.
In this interview with TOYIN SAHEED, HEAD SPORTS, NATIONAL PILOT, Dogo explained how he was able to combine coaching job with his traditional role as Magaji in one of the major communities in Ilorin.
He also described the last match in the NPFL season that involved Nasarawa United and his former club, ABS Ilorin FC, which he described as most difficult game in his coaching career. Excerpt.
What have you been doing since the season ended?
We thank God for the season and also appreciate all football stakeholders for their support and prayer towards a successful season. For now, we are on break and resting with our families.
How would you assess your team’s performance in the 2017 NPFL season?
We thank God, at least the season ended and Nasarawa United finished fifth position which I believe is not bad as far as the league is concerned. If you look at it, among the 20 teams that took part in the league, some were champions, some were relegated and some maintained their positions. We thank God, although we were not able to achieve what we wanted to achieve, but finishing among the first five is something I believe is commendable, looking at the high standard of the league in the 2017 season. I have to commend the organisers, the LMC, NFF, FA, the players and coaches and also fans and supporters for the role they played during the last season, it’s a job well done, even though it wasn’t our target.
What was your target?
Our target was to win either the league or get a Federation Cup but unfortunately, we could not secure any of this. We could not even secure the third position that will take us to the continent game. But all the same, we have to appreciate God and what we have achieved.
You didn’t start well at the beginning of the just concluded season, what was responsible for that?
The cause is the exodus of our players, we lost 10 players last season and it took new players a long time  to blend and catch up with others in the team. Also, we lost few points at home, assuming we secure our 100 per cent home matches, I think we should be among the best in the league.
What was the most difficult game for you last season?
I think it is the game against ABS FC. The game determined the fate of ABS FC, in the sense that the team needed to win the match for them to escape relegation and remain in the NPFL.
Though, results from other centres too matter, like the game between Gombe vs Wikki, Remo vs Sunshine and Tornadoes and 3SC game, but all the same our match is a must win game for them.
There was a lot of pressure during  that match, from the government, from everywhere because most of our players are from ABS and Ilorin. But God was able to perfect everything. But l wasn’t happy the team went to relegation because this is a young and  talented team with good management.
How do you perceive improvement in the league?
We always witness improvement in the league every season in terms of organisation, planning and execution of games, everything has improved. I believe if we can continue like that, Nigerian League will be reckoned with in African or in the world, it is just a matter of time.
Also, there is a great improvement in terms of officiating, though there was little errors but we are bound to make some mistakes and I believe that be corrected, I believe next season will be better but there’s a great improvement on the previous season.
Are you surprised that the new team, (Plateau United) emerged  champions of the 2017 NPFL season?
I’m not surprised of Plateau United won the league. They know what they wanted and go for it. Starting with the management, Coach Boboye, he is a big coach in the league and he is good too. He knew what the management wanted and he worked towards it and eventually God answered their prayers they got it.
I think it’s all about planning and funding. If you have proper planning and a sports loving government, everything will work well and you will achieve what you wanted to achieve. We are not surprise; they say anybody playing in the league has the tendency of winning it.
Do you still want to remain in Nasarawa after spending two years in the club?
Only God can decide that. For now I am still around but I cannot say what will happen tomorrow, for now, I am still with Nasarawa United, I don’t know what will happen tomorrow.
You are a coach and also one High Chief (Mogaji) to Emir of Ilorin, How have you been bridging that gap between your role in the Community and the job?
I have to thank the Emir of Ilorin and his Baloguns and some of my colleagues. They gave me necessary support and everything is working perfectly for me.
I’m performing my duty as Mogaji and also as a coach, so glory be to Almighty God, who has been guiding me in the right direction.

FIXTURES
EPL
West Ham    v     Brighton
Chelsea        v    Watford
Hud’sfield    v    Man Utd
Man City        v    Burnley
Swansea     v    Leicester
Stoke City    v    Bo’mouth
Newcastle    v    C/Palace
S’ampton    v    West Brom
Everton        v    Arsenal
Tottenham    v    Liverpool
LA LIGA
Levante        v    Getafe
Real Betis        v    Alavés
Valencia        v    Sevilla
Barcelona    v    Málaga
Villarreal        v    Las Palmas
Celta Vigo        v    Atlético
Leganés        v    Athletic
Real Madrid    v    Eibar
Sociedad        v    Espanyol
Deportivo        v    Girona
BUNDESLIGA
Schalke         v    Mainz
Leipzig        v    Stuttgart
M’gladbach    v    Leverkusen
Frankfurt        v    Dortmund
Augsburg        v    Hannover
Hamburger    v    Bayern
Köln        v    Bremen
Freiburg        v    Hertha
Wolfsburg    v    Hoffenheim
SERIE A
Sampdoria    v    Crotone
Napoli        v    Inter
Chievo        v    Hellas
Atalanta        v    Bologna
Benevento    v    Fiorentina
Milan        v    Genoa
Torino        v    Roma
SPAL        v    Sassuolo
Udinese        v    Juventus
Lazio        v    Cagliari
LIGUE 1
St-Étienne    v    Montpellier
Monaco        v    Caen
Rennes        v    Lille
Metz        v    Dijon
Nantes        v    Guingamp
Amiens         v    Bordeaux
Angers        v    Toulouse
Nice        v    Strasbourg
Troyes        v    Lyon
Marseille        v    PSG

PREMIERSHIP
Pos    Team    P    W    D    L    GF    GA    GD    Pts
1    Man City    8    7    1    0    29       4    25    22
2    Man Utd    8    6    2    0    21       2    19    20
3    Tottenham    8    5    2    1    15       5    10    17
4    Watford    8    4    3    1    13    13       0    15
5    Chelsea    8    4    1    3    13       8       5    13
6    Arsenal    8    4    1    3    12    10       2    13
7    Burnley    8    3    4    1       8       6       2    13
8    Liverpool    8    3    4    1    13    12       1    13
9    Newcastle    8    3    2    3       9       8       1     11
10    West Brom    8    2    4    2       7       9      -2    10
11    So’mpton    8    2    3    3       7       9      -2       9
12    Hud’sfield    8    2    3    3       5         9      -4       9
13    Swansea    8    2    2    4       5       8      -3       8
14    Brighton    8    2    2    4       6    10        -4       8
15    West Ham    8    2    2    4       8    14      -6       8
16    Everton    8    2    2    4       5    13      -8       8
17    Stoke    8    2    2    4      9    18      -9       8
18    Leicester    8    1    3    4    10    13      -3       6
19    Bo’mouth    8    1    1    6      4    12      -8       4
20    C/Palace    8    1    0    7      2    18     -16       3

LIGUE I
Pos    Team    P    W    D    L    GF    GA    GD    Pts
1    PSG    9    8    1    0    29      6    23    25
2    Monaco    9    6    1    2    24    12    12    19
3    St-Étienne    9    5    2    2    13       9       4    17
4    Marseille    9    5    2    2    18    15       3    17
5    Nantes    9    5    2    2       7       6       1    17
6    Lyon    9    4    4    1    20    15       5    16
7    Bordeaux    9    4    4    1    16    14       2    16
8    Caen    9    5    0    4       7       6       1    15
9    Guingamp    9    4    1    4    11    12      -1    13
10    Angers     9    2    6    1    14    11       3    12
11    Montpellier    9    3    3    3      7      6       1    12
12    Troyes    9    3    3    3      9      9       0    12
13    Toulouse    9    3    2    4    10    15      -5    11
14    Nice    9    3    1    5    12    14      -2    10
15    Rennes    9    1    3    5    11    15      -4      6
16    Lille    8    1    3    4    6    13        -7      6
17    Amiens     8    2    0    6    4    11      -7      6
18    Strasbourg    9    1    3    5    9    17      -8      6
19    Dijon    9    1    3    5    11    19      -8      6
20    Metz    9    1    0    8    4    17    -13      3

BUNDESLIGA
Pos    Team    P    W    D    L    GF    GA    GD    Pts
1    Dortmund    8    6    1    1    23      5    18    19
2    Bayern    8    5    2    1    21      7    14    17
3    RB Leipzig    8    5    1    2    15    10      5    16
4    Hoffenheim    8    4    3    1    15    10      5    15
5    M’gladbach    8    4    2    2    12    12      0    14
6    Schalke 04    8    4    1    3    10       9      1    13
7    Frankfurt    8    4    1    3      8      7      1    13
8    Augsburg    8    3    3    2    11      8      3    12
9    Hannover    8    3    3    2      8      6      2    12
10    Mainz 05    8    3    1    4    10    13    -3    10
11    Stuttgart    8    3    1    4      6    10    -4    10
12    Leverkusen    8    2    3    3    15    13      2      9
13    Hertha     8    2    3    3      8    10    -2      9
14    Wolfsburg    8    1    5    2      8    11    -3      8
15    Hamburger    8    2    1    5      6    14    -8      7
16    Freiburg    8    1    4    3      5    16    -11      7
17    Bremen    8    0    4    4      3      9    -6      4
18    Köln    8    0    1    7      3    17    -14    1

LA LIGA
Pos    Team    P    W    D    L    GF    GA    GD    Pts
1    Barcelona    8    7    1    0    24      3    21    22
2    Valencia    8    5    3    0    21    10    11    18
3    Real Madrid    8    5    2    1    15      7      8    17
4    Atlético    8    4    4    0    13      5      8    16
5    Sevilla    8    5    1    2      9      4      5    16
6    Leganés    8    4    2    2      7      3      4    14
7    Sociedad    8    4    1    3    19    17      2    13
8    Villarreal    8    4    1    3    11    10      1    13
9    Real Betis    8    4    1    3    17    17      0    13
10    Celta Vigo    8    3    2    3    18    13      5    11
11    Athletic    8    3    2    3    10       9      1    11
12    Levante    8    2    4    2       8    10    -2    10
13    Espanyol    8    2    3    3       7    11    -4      9
14    Getafe    8    2    2    4    10      9      1      8
15    Deportivo    8    2    2    4      9    16     -7      8
16    Eibar    8    2    1    5      3    17    -14      7
17    Girona    8    1    3    4      7    13    -6      6
18    Las Palmas    8    2    0    6      7    18    -11      6
19    Alavés    8    1    0    7      3    12    -9      3
20    Málaga    8    0    1    7      4    18    -14      1

SERIE A
Pos    Team    P    W    D    L    GF    GA    GD    Pts
1    Napoli    8    8    0    0    26      5    21    24
2    Inter    8    7    1    0    17      5    12    22
3    Lazio    8    6    1    1    21    10    11    19
4    Juventus    8    6    1    1    21      7    14    19
5    Roma    7    5    0    2    14      5      9    15
6    Sampdoria    7    4    2    1    11      9      2    14
7    Bologna    8    4    2    2      8      8      0    14
8    Torino    8    3    4    1    14    13      1    13
9    Chievo    8    3    3    2      9      9      0    12
10    Milan    8    4    0    4    12    13    -1    12
11    Fiorentina    8    3    1    4    12    11      1    10
12    Atalanta    8    2    3    3    13    13      0      9
13    Cagliari    8    2    0    6      6    14    -8      6
14    Crotone    8    1    3    4      6    14    -8      6
15    Hellas    8    1    3    4      4    16    -12      6
16    Udinese    8    2    0    6    13    15    -2      6
17    Genoa    8    1    2    5      8    13    -5      5
18    Sassuolo    8    1    2    5      4    15    -11      5
19    SPAL    8    1    2    5      7    14    -7      5
20    Benevento    8    0    0    8      2    19    -17      0

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