Football has a way of delivering the unexpected.
No one saw Nzoia coming. During the pre-season, Tusker, Gor Mahia, and KCB dominated the title hype but when the league started Nzoia dominated the football.
Eyebrows started going up early in the season. By the fourth game, tongues had started wagging – this team was something special- Coach Salim Babu and his young, skillful side were turning heads and keeping them turned.
According to Coach Babu, the season has panned out exactly how he planned it. They decided as a team this season, they were not going to fight relegation. They wanted to play in a different section of the table.
Nzoia are a good side to watch, slick passing, tricky, speedy crafty midfielders running rings around opposing defenders-in short very entertaining football.
In 20-year-old Hassan Beja, Nzoia have a naturally gifted left-footed player with the trickery to give defenders nightmares and in Joseph Mwangi, they have a striker who keeps going no matter how many chances he misses. Both of these players were playing in Division 2 less than two years ago. Mwangi had even given up on football. Now they are leading the nation’s top division.
Nzoia’s rise to the top of the FKF PL is a reminder of three extremely important things. First, it is a reminder that football will always surprise you-the game is a master storyteller.
The second reminder is that there is a genuine talent pool in Kenya, players who are willing to dedicate their lives to perfect this game, drive themselves to greatness, and work their talent to the bone.
The final reminder there is entertaining football for all of us to enjoy, celebrate and support as fans.
A few weeks ago over 20,000 fans gathered at Nyayo for the Mashemeji Derby. It was good to hear the purring of the stadium, the roar of the fans, and sharp intakes of breath during the game. I am sure the players loved it even more.
This is an experience that is available to us, every weekend. Let us support and celebrate Kenyan football, the game will reward us. It always does.