Clubs gear up as Super 8 League nears return


TUK players celebrate after being crowned the the 2016 Super 8 Champions League winners after beating Jericho ...
TUK players celebrate after being crowned the the 2016 Super 8 Champions League winners after beating Jericho All Stars 3-1 in the finals on November 13, 2016 at Nyayo Stadium. PHOTO/Courtesy

The Super 8 League season is set to resume over the next two weeks after a barnstorming 2016 season that saw Kayole Asubuhi claim the competition’s premiership title.

Last season witnessed the inception of the Super 8 Champions League by the organisers Extreme Sports Limited with Technical University of Kenya (TUK) FC becoming the first champions of the kind.

Clubs are scrambling to achieve optimum fitness levels for the high intensity league that has opened up wider opportunities for grass roots football players by providing a platform to exhibit their skills.

Fresh spotlights will cast upon former second-tier sides – Ngando Youth Sports Association (NYSA), Team Umeme, Zamalek FC and Macmillan FC – who earned their promotion to the top division last term.

Here is what to look out for and expect in the second season of the Super 8 League season.

-Title defence-

Champions Kayole Asubuhi will be up in arms to defend the Super 8 Premier League title amid stiff competition from other clubs. The East conference champions will be hoping to replicate their last season heroics where they registered 19 wins while only losing four matches in the whole competition.

The Isaiah Omondi charges will have another go at and fans will also be eager to see what the champions have in store in terms of football quality especially after scooping the Ksh 1million cash prize that was on the offing as the cash prize.

Not only Kayole Asubuhi FC, SPS8 CL champs TUK FC will also be working diligently to retain the title which they won at the expense of Jericho All Stars last November.

That not-withstanding, what is certain is that they will have to dig deep as indications suggests the new season promises more surprises with teams eager to throw the spanner in the works to deny them successive championship wins.

-More captivating action-

It goes without saying that last season was sumptuous and arrestingly entertaining and it’s time to shift gears in the upcoming season which promises more riveting action than what we experienced last term. After seeing the lucrative opportunities that the league bears, it is anticipated that teams will come out all guns blazing in their quest to clinch the coveted crown at whatever cost and this promises mouth-watering season.

From new signings to new coaches to the promoted teams, one cannot rule out an explosive 2017 season filled with more flare, more stunning goals and definitely fascinating action on the pitch.

-More budding talent-

After its first season alone, a legion of talented players from teams participating in the Super 8 League have been scouted and drafted into teams playing the local top league (Premier League) as well as other professional leagues in search for greener pastures thanks to the great platform of exposure granted by the competition.

TUK ace Jeconiah Uyoga and Jericho All Stars reliable defender defender Maqbul Mohammed have been signed by Kenya Premier League giants Gor Mahia and are some of the finest talent that Super 8 League has unearthed. Others who will also be joining them in the local premiership includeimmediate former Jericho All Stars winger Kevin Ndung’u who joined Kariobangi Sharks as well Orneal Omondi who has signed with Kakamega Homeboyz.

Ex-Shauri Moyo Blue Stars man Brain Omondi who is now plying his trade with Sofapaka FC are some among the dozen of the finest talent the league has produced last season and the future looks promising for more players.

-More opportunities-

Thanks to an entrepreneurship and financial training program handled by Junior Achievement, one of the league partners, clubs have managed to open and run small scale businesses at the their communities courtesy of a Ksh 25 Million kitty availed to them as part of the partnership. This is in line with the vision of the league to help the teams acquire skills that will enable them run and properly manage the clubs without depending solely on well-wishers and policians which has been the case in the past.

With such strategic partnership that help improve the lives of players and the community clubs, the organisers Extreme Sports Limited have previously called on other private sector players who may want to join in transforming football and helping the community come on board as partners.

This will go a long way in engaging more youth and volunteers during the competitions’ events and match days as stewards and ball boys.

-Football development-

Football in the country has come a long way and its going far in regards to development. This is the vision shared by Extreme Sports Limited the professional sports management and consultancy firm who are championing the development of soccer at the grass root in the country. By professionally running the three-tier championship, Extreme Sports provide the teams and players adequate and opportunities as well asconducive platforms to grow and in turn benefitting the community.

Through its strategic partnerships with private entities such as videoproduction company Protel Studios, Extreme Sports has made it easier for teams and players to get footage of the matches making it easier to market themselves to potential top notch clubs.

It is expected that the continuity of the league will help the youth stay out of social vices such as crime, alcoholism and illegal drug behavioursand in turn engage in football.

-Relegation and Promotion battles-

Once again this season, it will be interesting to see which teams will stand out and reign supreme by winning this years’ SPS8 Premier League crown at the same time which ones will be demoted to the second division, the SPS8 Div One League.

In the SPS8 Div One, the battle for promotion to the top flight will be intensified with the 16-teams each looking to claim the four spots up for grabs while avoiding the chop to annual SPS8 Tournament.

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Story By Matthews Mutai
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