The jigsaw to City’s impressive NSL run


The jigsaw to City's impressive NSL run

In Summary

  • Nairobi City Stars have staged a dream start to the 2019/20 National Super League season by every stretch of the imagination.
  • The Hope Centre based side finished fourth last season with 39 points in the NSL, and their performances this season have exceeded everyone’s expectations, including themselves!
  • The team’s sports coordinator Samson Otieno says the change of ownership that took place earlier this year turned around the club’s fortunes.

Nairobi City Stars have staged a dream start to the 2019/20 National Super League season by every stretch of the imagination.

The Hope Centre based side finished fourth last season with 39 points in the NSL, and their performances this season have exceeded everyone’s expectations, including themselves!

The team’s sports coordinator Samson Otieno says the change of ownership that took place earlier this year turned around the club’s fortunes.

The team was bought in April 2019 by Jonathan Jackson, owner of Jonathan Jackson Foundation when the club was performing dismally.

After the takeover, he brought in seasoned tactician Sanjin Alagic who by then used to coach the Bosnia Under-21 national team and retained the assistant coach John Amboko and Tilien Oguta to help in ensuring continuity.

The outfit’s operation structure has given the coach the mandate to pull strings on recruitment and team selection.

“The coach has a full mandate in whatever he wants to do. When it’s about signing players, the administration can only second a name, and he decides if he is fit or not.

“He assesses the player and decides. When we gave him total control over that, we told him we want results.”

The change of ownership was instrumental to the team’s turnaround in fortunes as it gave the club the critical financial muscle to rope in new talent like Antony ‘Muki’ Kimani, Levis Opiyo and Co who have helped the Kawangware based side to sustain a serious promotion bid.

The team’s renewed exploits have seen many fans who had abandoned them return to the cheering stands much to the enhancement of their momentum.

With many clubs across the Kenyan top-tier leagues experiencing financial constraints, Stars have established an efficient remuneration model that has maintained players motivation.

“We pay players modest salaries and high winning allowances. When the team wins every player pockets a winning allowance of Sh5,000. There is an additional one thousand for subsequent matches won,” Otieno explained.

These measures have sparked the hunger for victory amongst the players, a tactic that has seen them win 10 games so far this season and sit on top of the NSL log with 32 points out of the possible 36.

Despite being the only unbeaten side in the league, Otieno says they will strengthen when the transfer window opens in December.

“We intend to strengthen all departments in December because we will have players leaving the camp.

“We are open to recruiting any player that will add quality to the team, be it from the top tier or lower divisions,”he added.

Simba wa Nairobi will be looking to bag another victory on Friday when they take on FC Talanta at the Camp Toyoyo Stadium

 

 

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