Wikki’s Sabo grateful to be back after eight months out

By Fisayo Dairo

With the season already past its halfway stage, teams have begun to realign their objectives and targets to meet the reality on ground. All initial talks of finishing in a continental place have now systematically evaporated for escaping relegation.

For Wikki Tourists of Bauchi, their fourth consecutive season in the Nigeria Professional Football League (after a year in the lower division in 2014) has not gone particularly as they would have loved.

Playing some 100 kilometres away from their beloved home ground in Bauchi, the Giant Elephants have struggled to have a trampling stand on any pitch they have trodden, managing to get just a point in all of their away games this season.

Their trip to Omoku on Sunday to face Go Round FC was always going to be a daunting one as Bala Nikyu’s men were without several key players due to injury. But while the likes of Victor Alegbe, Shammah Tanze and Abubakar Umar failed to make the trip, a prominent member of the team – yet to feature this season – travelled down South with them.

Idris Sabo has achieved a cult hero status in Bauchi. The classy midfielder has enjoyed a good time since joining the club from Spotlight FC just before the start of the 2015 football season. Sabo however copped a serious knee injury during that tempestuous final game of last season against Gombe United.

After spending about eight months on the sidelines, Sabo was handed a starting berth at the Krisdera Hotel Stadium in Omoku and he was quick to show glimpses of his usual self.

“I have to thank my (club) management, the coaches and my teammates for their support when I was injured,” Sabo told npfl.ng.

“It was not easy to be out for that long but they kept encouraging me and now that I fell better, I am grateful to them.”

Unfortunately for Sabo, nicknamed ‘Kagawa’ (after the former Manchester United star) by his fans in Bauchi, his return ended in another defeat on the road for his Wikki Tourists side who are struggling to find joy on their travels this season.

“It’s a matter of game,” Sabo said, looking at the bright side.

“That’s how football is, you win some, you lose more. But I believe by the grace of God we are going to win the rest of our matches.”

Wikki Tourists have a north-east derby to look forward to this weekend when they face Yobe Desert Stars. The game will still hold at their adopted Jos home and Sabo acknowledged that playing away from home has affected their performances.

“It has affected us because we play in Bauchi but because of the situation, we are playing in Jos. There is nothing we can do about it now and by by God’s grace we are going to move forward.”