Lifting the lid: The secrets to Bandari’s success


Bandari players are seen here in an overdrive celebrations after a past match.PHOTO/Sportpicha
Bandari players are seen here in an overdrive celebrations after a past match.PHOTO/Sportpicha

In Summary

  • Enforced discipline, a dedicated playing unit coupled by motivation from the management was the catalyst to Bandari FC’s fairy tale run in the  2018 Kenyan Premier League season which concluded last weekend.
  • A win for instance attracted a handsome Ksh 10,000 while a bonus of Ksh 6,000 was also paid to the playing unit whenever they won three matches on the trot.

Enforced discipline, a dedicated playing unit coupled by motivation from the management was the catalyst to Bandari FC’s fairy tale run in the  2018 Kenyan Premier League season which concluded last weekend.

The dockers defied the odds to clinch a runner up slot ahead of traditional heavyweights Tusker, AFC Leopards and Ulinzi Stars, amassing 62 points, 13 adrift of champions Gor Mahia.

However, beneath the energetic displays they gave over 34 matches, in over 10 different venues across the country, Citizen Digital can authoritatively reveal that apart from a cohesive and disciplined playing unit, the team’s management, the Kenya Ports Authority played an integral role in ensuring that the playing unit’s welfare was adequately catered for.

Whereas most Kenyan Premier League clubs struggled to pay the players salaries let alone bonuses, Bandari promptly settled the salaries and also offered some handsome match winning allowances.

A win for instance attracted a handsome Ksh 10,000 while a bonus of Ksh 6,000 was also paid to the playing unit whenever they won three matches on the trot.

According to club Chief Executive Officer Edward Oduor, concerted efforts by all stakeholders also inspired the team.

(FILE)Bandari FC head coach Bernard Mwalala reacts during a past match. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha
(FILE)Bandari FC head coach Bernard Mwalala reacts during a past match. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha

“A player would be deducted some cash in his salary if he received many cards, that’s the reason behind our players discipline,” he said with a smile lifting the lid on the secrets that galvanized the team.

Oduor also avers that the solid foundation laid by former coach Ken Odhiambo aided the cause with new arrival Bernard Mwalala instilling the magic.

“The management gave full support. They were always there for the boys. Ken Odhiambo had already built a great foundation for the team; his scouting of youth players was crucial after we had released the so called big names.”

The youthful Mwalala, who took over from Odhiambo said that the ability of his boys to quickly grasp his concepts also played a major role in the success.

“When I arrived I had to bring in my philosophy, it’s always not easy for the players to adjust but these guys were just brilliant, they adapted to my tactics very quickly and that made it easier for me,” said Mwalala.

And with an assured performance having defined their season, the dockers ensured that they closed the league chapter in style, registering a crushing 5-1 victory over relegated Thika United FC at their Mbaraki Sports Club fortress.

And even as they bask in the glory of an impeccable season, the dockers have already shifted focus to next term which begins in December with reinforcing the squad a top priority.

Bandari will be hoping to challenge reigning champions Gor Mahia for the gong next term and also eye a ticket to continental football – through the league route or the Cup competition.

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Story By Robbie Chome
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