At only 18, Idris Guda became the captain of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side Wikki Tourists FC of Bauchi barely four seasons after teaming up with the Big Elephants.
But his rise to stardom in no distance time was due to determination and hard work.
“I started playing football since when I was in the primary school; I played inter classes competition and I played a lot of competitions throughout my secondary school days,” Guda told NationSport.
“ After my secondary school, I traveled abroad for my Diploma in Dubai and many people thought I had already started playing professional football in Dubai but I was just playing for my school team there.
“So when I came back around 2013, I was invited to Wikki Tourists feeder team but I refused rather, I joined a local team in Bauchi –Marafa United- from there I moved to Wikki Tourists Junior team in 2014.”
After few months at Wikki Feeder team, coach Abdu Maikaba who was in charge of Wikki Tourists at the time saw quality in him and gave him a chance to play in the main team.
He continued: “We had a Federation Cup final in Bauchi between Wikki Feeder team and Wikki Tourists FC, I played very well in that match and I was invited to the main team. Fortunately the coach likes me very well and he said I should join the team.
“It has been a successful journey for me, and seriously I have been improving year-by-year. My first season, I didn’t catch up with the way they are playing in the league so I didn’t perform well.
“ I was given another chance in the second season, and from there I started learning. I came on as a substitute even though some people believed I can play ninety minutes but the coach insisted that I was still young and I needed to learn more before I started playing full time. But in the following year, he started giving me chance in the starting lineup,” he added.
At the start of 2018/2019 season, Guda was handed the team’s captainship armband following the departure of the captain Abdullahi Musa to Kano Pillars.
“Seriously, I can describe it was a challenge for me because I never dream of it,” he admit
“I am someone who likes playing my normal football but unfortunately the captain of the team left for Kano Pillars and I was the assistant captain.
“We came for training and without my knowledge the coach just announced my name as the new captain of the team,” he stated.
Wikki Tourists are currently battling for their survival due to poor run of results but since the new coach Abdullahi Adamu came on board, the team heaved a sigh of relief after picking some points.
Guda is confident that the team will finish in the mid table position at the end of the season.
He explained: “We are in trying moment in our team for like a month now because of our poor performance in the league but I can’t say what is exactly responsible for our below performance.
“ At the beginning of the season, we had a wonderful moment, getting draw away and winning our games at home. It was a test to us and we’re happy that things are improving gradually.
But as you can see, the confidence is back into the team. I believe we will finish in the better position at the end of the season; eighth or ninth position.”
Guda became an orphan when his mother Hafsat Idi Guda died recently, the news came to him when he was preparing for a league game. His father Idi Usman Guda died in 2015.
In his tribute to his late mother, Guda said his mother’s death left a vacuum which would be difficult to fill.
He said: “My late mom always prayed for me and I missed her very well. She was the first person to call me whenever I traveled for league matches to know where I was. When I came to Lagos for the game against MFM, I really felt her absence because she was not there to call me again. Even before my wife call, she would have called me twice
“My mom contributed a lot to my career, when I started my dad wasn’t given me money to go for training because he preferred education to football.
“It was my mom that usually gave me money. It was unfortunate that I was unable to treat her better that than what I planned to do for her despite all my efforts to do the best for her. I wish I have travel to Europe before my mother died and I would have spent a lot on her.”
Relishing his best and low moment in the league, Guda, who loves Real Madrid as a club and Edwin Hazard as player, said: “My best moment in the league was when we got a continental ticket to represent the country two seasons ago while my low moment was the year we were battling relegation and we had to win our last game against Gombe United in Bauchi to escape relegation. I was so scared because I didn’t want the team to go down.”
Guda was invited to the national under 20 camp under coach Paul Aigbogun but he didn’t make the final list to the World Cup.
“I felt disappointed for not making the team, although, I tried my best but I didn’t make it. When I went to the camp for the final qualifying game I was injured. I didn’t do well at the training and I was not included in the final qualifying game. To me, I believed what happened that day made the technical crew not to include my name in the final squad to the World Cup because they expected a lot from me.”
Guda has however set his sight on playing abroad and lace his boots for the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
“I am still working on it. I am just looking for the best and right moment to make the move abroad. I would love to play abroad and go higher in my choosing career. I would also like to play for the national team and help my country win laurel,” he concluded.