Abuja - Baba Ganaru, the head coach of Kano Pillars Football Club, on Tuesday said his team was determined to have a successful campaign in the 2014 CAF Champions League.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the three-time Nigerian league champions won the 2012/2013 Globacom Premier League title of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) on Sunday.
They lost 0-2 to Lobi Stars of Makurdi in their final match of the season, but still ended up with 63 points from 38 matches to retain the title.
Kano Pillars had campaigned four times in the continental competition with no appreciable success, even though they reached the semi-finals in their first campaign in 2009.
They lost in the first round in 2011, in their second appearance, after emerging Nigerian league runners-up in 2010.
In the 2013 Champions League competition, after winning their second domestic league title in 2012, they also crashed out in the first round of the continental competition.
Ganaru however told NAN that they were now more determined to do better this time around.
"Certainly we have won the domestic title, but it doesn’t just end there. We are now looking ahead to next season, particularly in the domestic league and the CAF Champions League.
"Our ambition as a club is to keep getting positive results and build on the strength and image of the club as the years go by.
"Our last involvement in the Champions League wasn’t quite good for us, and that is one major area we’re hoping to improve upon now,” he said.
The coach noted that the team’s successful title defence was possible because of the support given to the team by the Kano State Government.
"We motivated ourselves by our determination to retain the title. But, most importantly, the Kano State Government encouraged us.
"The government provided us with all we needed. The support has been massive and we thank God for such a great administration,” Ganaru said.
NAN reports that Pillars finished ahead of Enyimba International FC of Aba who finished second with 62 points to upstage Bayelsa United.
Bayelsa United ended the season in third position with 61 points while El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri finished fourth with 60 points.
However, two Ilorin-based sides, ABS FC and Kwara United, were relegated alongside Wikki Tourists of Bauchi and 3SC of Ibadan.