Shabana coach Sammy Okoth reveals game plan for FKF Premier League ascent

© Shabana

FKFPL Shabana coach Sammy Okoth reveals game plan for FKF Premier League ascent

Festus Chuma 17:24 - 27.10.2023

Shabana coach Sammy Okoth remains optimistic despite late-game setbacks, crediting sponsor Bangbet for boosting team morale

Shabana coach Sammy Okoth is a beacon of optimism for the Kisii-based Glamour Boys, especially as they find their rhythm in the Football Kenya Federation Premier League 2023/24 season. 

Despite a shaky start since their return after a 17-year hiatus, there is an unmistakable air of hope surrounding the team.

Shabana's journey back to the top-flight league has been nothing short of tumultuous. After their return, they found themselves struggling to secure victories, with a record of one win and four draws out of the seven matches played this season. 

Despite the heartbreak of late-minute goals plaguing the team, such as the last-minute concession to Murang’a Seal leading to a 1-0 loss and similar late setbacks against Talanta and Police resulting in 1-1 draws, Okoth remains unyieldingly positive, seeing a silver lining amidst the challenges.

"The team's progress has been satisfactory. We began on a low note, frequently conceding goals in the last minutes and during extra time of our initial matches. However, as the league has progressed, we've seen marked improvement," he said.

Shabana's recent alliance with betting firm Bangbet as their sponsor has evidently played a pivotal role in the team's resurgence. 

Beyond just financial support, the sponsorship has rejuvenated the team's spirit and given them a much-needed motivational push.

"Ever since Bangbet came on board as our sponsor, there's been a significant boost in the players' motivation. In the early days at NSL, there were no salaries. But now, with improved training facilities and consistent salaries, the team is working with renewed vigor. Players know they will be compensated at the end of each month,” Okoth emphasized.

This newfound stability, thanks to their sponsors, also gives Shabana an edge in the transfer market. 

"Securing the players we desire during the transfer window won't be challenging, thanks to our sponsorship. Every player is eager to join the team, knowing there's a reward waiting," Okoth noted.

With a focus on continuous improvement and growth, the team has set their sights on ambitious goals for the season.

"Looking ahead, our baseline goal is to rank within the top ten in the league. With each match, we gain experience and learn. We're confident that we'll continue to enhance our performance with every game," he added.

While the team's current 13th position with seven points might seem modest, given their recent National Super League (NSL) title win last season, it is only a matter of time before they climb the ranks. 

The upcoming match against Ulinzi Stars in Nairobi is already buzzing with anticipation. A win here could catapult Shabana to the coveted top 10 positions in the league. 

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