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Victorious Bandari are truly a championship outfit

Monday June 3 2019

Bandari captain Felly Mulumba leads teammates in celebration after lifting the SportPesa Shield after beating Kariobangi Sharks 3-1 in the final at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on June 2, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Bandari captain Felly Mulumba leads teammates in celebration after lifting the SportPesa Shield after beating Kariobangi Sharks 3-1 in the final at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on June 2, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

PHILIP ONYANGO
By PHILIP ONYANGO
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It is a story I have said many times without a number, a narrative, many have tried to downplay all with very little success.

I am also very aware that facts are always very stubborn and that’s the reason I am putting the doubting Thomases on notice that it’s time they accepted the facts and swallowed bitter truth that Bandari are a championship side.

The 3-1 demolition of Kariobangi Sharks in the SportPesa Shield final at the Moi International Sports Centre on Sunday has proved beyond reasonable doubt my earlier assertion that Bandari have come off age.

Yema Mwama’s brace and a Benjamin Mosha strike in this game that had to be played over two days due to a heavy rains was enough to separate the two teams.

The Shield victory was an excellent revenge for the dockers who lost to Sharks by a solitary goal in the SportPesa Super Cup final in Dar es Salaam in February.

Fact is we boast of one of the best if not the best management team headed by patron Daniel Manduku, chairman Musa Hassan Musa, his deputy Benard Osero, CEO Edward Oduor and organising secretary Dickson Kibagendi and a sound technical bench headed by Bernard Mwalala.

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The playing unit is dotted with talented players, the likes of Harambee Stars goalkeeper Farouk Shikhalo, Felly Mulumba, Fred Nkata, Hassan Abdallah, Willy Lugogo, William Wadri among others.

By all indications this is a team headed in the right direction, a team very motivated, fired up to conquer the nation and the continent.

Second position in the league for two consecutive seasons and the SportPesa Shield is a sober statement of intent that Bandari are slowly and steadily taking their seat at the queen’s table, ready to be counted among the big boys of Kenyan football.

Now that the team has secured a slot in the Caf Confederation Cup things are bound to even get rosier if the squad is beefed up.

Bandari as a club are currently in a much stronger position than they were a few years back.

It is my humble appeal to the Mombasa County government to spearhead the renovation works at the Mombasa Municipal in readiness for the upcoming continental matches. It would be unfair for Bandari to be forced to host their home matches away from Mombasa just for the mere fact that Mbaraki cannot host continental matches.

The long journey to the SportPesa Shield crown was stormy as Bandari started with a 1-0 victory over Kayo FC in the first round in Nairobi and beat Gor Mahia 5-4 on penalties in the second round before dismissing Western Stima 4-1 in the quarter-finals in Mombasa. They then whipped Assad from Kwale 6-1 in the semi-finals to set a finals date with Kariobangi Sharks.

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