•Speaking during a function hosted at a Nairobi hotel to fete the team for their splendid performance this season, president Paul Russo said he made a passionate plea for the team to be spared. They regained promotion in 2018, and the rest is history.
•Head of corporate affairs, Judy Sidi Odhiambo, extolled the team for a splendid performance this season.
KCB’s relegation from the Kenyan Premier League four years ago attracted the fury and wrath of the bank's honchos who vowed to disband the side.
During a heated meeting to discuss the football team's future, one of the board members interjected in fury while brandishing a local newspaper whose screaming headline read “KCB relegated.”
“Our bank cannot be associated with relegation,” said the enraged officials adding that the team’s performance had impacted negatively on the company's brand.
Speaking during a function hosted at a Nairobi hotel to fete the team for their splendid performance this season, president Paul Russo who was present at the meeting said he made a passionate plea for the team to be spared. They regained promotion in 2018, and the rest is history.
“When the club was relegated we were under intense pressure from the board to disband it. I personally fought to have the team retained and we have worked hard to reach at this point. I urge our sponsors to keep supporting us.”
Captain Simon Munala said they were still smarting from their failure to secure their maiden top-flight title. “It was very painful not to have clinched the title after a glorious season. We were eyeing the title since the beginning of the season.”
“Before Zico arrived, we always played with the intention if maintaining our status in the league. When he came, he made us believe we can effectively charge for the title, which we almost won. Thanks to the technical bench for instilling great confidence in the entire team.”
Coach Zedekiah “Zico” Otieno said they had their target set right from the start. “Everyone knew right from the start we would be fighting for the championship, so we didn't find ourselves in second place by luck.”
“For us payment has never been an issue and that has made it easier for us to focus on our matches. Sporting director, Bramwel Simiyu, asked the players not to rest on their laurels.
“We shouldn't think we have achieved anything. We want KCB to go into history that we once won the league.
“It's rather unfortunate that we lost the title by three points but at least we rose to some unprecedented greater heights. “We cannot afford to go below position two,” said Simiyu.
Chairman Azu Ogolla said he was very proud of the team.
“I like the resilience displayed by the whole squad. We've had a lot of injuries that have impacted on our players but we successfully rose above them,” he said.
He added; “Moving on to the next season, I know it won't be easy. We have to dig deep as a unit. Everyone wants to beat us because we set a benchmarks. We exceeded expectations and secured a second-place finish.”
Head of corporate affairs, Judy Sidi Odhiambo, extolled the team for a splendid performance this season.
“We celebrate you for the mental fortitude you've shown throughout the season. We are committed to supporting the team on the future. Believe in yourself and your ability.”
During the ceremony, Harambee Stars defender Baraka Badi scooped the Most Valuable Player award. Midfielder Samuel Mwangi was voted the most disciplined player while Brian Ochieng won the award for the most improved player.