What beleaguered Shabana need to retain top-flight tenancy


What beleaguered Shabana need to retain top-flight tenancy

Festus Chuma 09:30 - 22.05.2024

Shabana FC faces a critical battle to avoid relegation with just three matches left and nine points available to secure safety

Three matches to go and nine points to play for—this is the tightrope Shabana FC walks as they fight to avoid the drop to a lower league. 

With the season winding down the pressure mounts for Tore Bobe to claw their way out of the relegation zone and secure their status in the FKF Premier League.

Currently positioned 16th in the league standings Shabana have accrued 29 points from 31 matches placing them perilously close to a playoff spot for relegation.

Tore Bobe stands only a point above Muhoroni, who occupy the 17th spot, a direct relegation position, with Nzoia Sugar already confirmed for the drop.

The critical threshold appears to be 35 points, a tally that historically has been sufficient to ensure safety. 

With only three games remaining, Shabana needs to win at least two to reach this crucial milestone. 

This task begins with a challenging fixture against AFC Leopards on June 15th, followed by encounters with Bidco United and Murang’a Seal.

"I usually tell my boys that if you lose to a good team while fighting, you should leave the pitch with your head held high," remarked Shabana coach Pamzo Omollo during an interview with Citizen TV. 

His experience, gained from previous stints at clubs like Gor Mahia and Tusker FC, is a valuable asset as he steers the team through these turbulent waters.

Mental resilience and tactical acumen will be key in these final matches. 

Shabana’s journey this season has been fraught with challenges, not least of which is the unavailability of their traditional home ground, Gusii Stadium, due to renovations. 

This has forced them to play their "home" games at alternative venues, including the Raila Odinga Stadium in Homabay and once at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

Their nomadic season will conclude at St. Sebastian Park, a venue reminiscent of last season’s triumph in the National Super League, where they clinched the title by defeating Murang’a Seal. 

Shabana’s strategy in the coming games should focus on solid defense and exploiting the few chances they get. The team's ability to maintain composure under pressure and convert in critical moments will be paramount.

Off the pitch, the support from the fans and effective management will also play crucial roles. The fans, though unable to attend games at their home ground, have continued to provide support from afar, and this moral boost cannot be underestimated in times of need.

Furthermore, the technical team must ensure that every player is at their physical and mental peak. The lessons from past near-misses in the league by other teams, like Mathare and Vihiga United, who survived with fewer than 30 points, must be heeded.

As they prepare for their next match against AFC Leopards, a team with its own set of challenges this season, Shabana must harness every bit of determination and skill. 

"It's about character and resilience at this stage of the season," Omollo emphasized. 

"Every match is a final, and we need to approach them with the mindset of champions—the champions we were last season."

The coming weeks will write a significant chapter in Shabana's storied history. 

The Glamour Boys' ability to rally and secure critical wins could not only preserve their top-flight status but also lay a foundation for rebuilding and future successes. 

The countdown to safety begins now, and every moment counts.

Follow us on X (Twitter) for more updates.