City Stars boss Jabuya lays it bare in honest club season audit
- On the afternoon of November 30, 2016, the relegation of Nairobi City Stars was officially confirmed with two games left, after losing 3-1 to Kakamega Homeboyz, their fall to the second-tier coming after a rough stay at the top.
- A third season in the National Super League (NSL) and things look worse off than they were when strikes from Homeboyz’s David Okoth, Hedmond Mauda and Ali Ahmed sunk them before their unfazed fans at Kasarani Stadium, probably oblivious of what awaited them in the second tier.
On the afternoon of November 30, 2016, the relegation of Nairobi City Stars was officially confirmed with two games left, after losing 3-1 to Kakamega Homeboyz, their fall to the second-tier coming after a rough stay at the top.
A third season in the National Super League (NSL) and things look worse off than they were when strikes from Homeboyz’s David Okoth, Hedmond Mauda and Ali Ahmed sunk them before their unfazed fans at Kasarani Stadium, probably oblivious of what awaited them in the second tier.
Two rounds into the second leg of the season, City lie third from bottom on 14 points from 22 matches after managing only two wins, eight draws and losing six and now hang precariously in the relegation play off slot.
However, beneath the searing deep sea waves that threaten to consume them, club chairman Peter Jabuya has ruled out a return to the elite division and a possible slip to the third tier at the end of this campaign.
“We cannot talk of promotion this season because we are already behind because the league is trying to conform to the international calendar. I can however confirm that next season we will be a force to reckon with and bid to return to the Kenya Premier League. City is going to see radical improvements,” he confessed in an interview with Citizen Digital.
Jabuya was quick to point out a number of factors that have made their stay in the NSL rough, grounding their exploits towards securing another spell in the top division.
He was however full of optimism that the situation is short-lived looking forward to a refurbished City Stars.
“Playing in the lower division is not that easy, it is not like KPL. State of the pitches is pathetic. Secondly, the level of officiating is wanting. There is some favourism, the kind of penalties given at times shows they favour some teams,” he lamented
“Look at the fixtures; three games a week, it’s tiresome. Financial constrains have also hit us hard. I know people are wondering but I’m very sure the end to this is so near and we well bounce back,” charged Jabuya.
The former KPL side recently hired 31-year old Ugandan coach Jimmy Kuntu replacing John Amboko who left the team 16th in the 20-member league, with eight points from 10 matches but the situation has evened worsened ever since, dropping to 17th after garnering only six points in 12 matches since taking over and Jabuya has threatened to crack the whip.
“I am thinking on what to do with the technical bench because we have players, but are they using them well? I recently brought in a new coach from Uganda, Jimmy but the situation has not changed at least according to my expectations,” he roared.
Jabuya says the squad might also get to feel his wrath as long as their level of motivation remains questionable.
“We have players who at times disregard the NSL unlike when they were in the KPL. The guys want to play attractive football but the opponents just go for the points. So they must understand that in football points come first,” threatened the seemingly irked club chairman.
The return to the Kenyan Premier League for the Kawangware-based side is too much an ask as of now, with the playing unit bracing up for a relegation battle midway through the season and four points above NSL safety.
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