Newly promoted Shabana FC have every reason to smile after the Kisii County Government undertook to sponsor the ‘Glamour Boys’ come next season.
Shabana Patron Jared Nivaton said he was delighted with the new development after receiving the confirmation from the County Government through the cabinet secretary for Sports Dick Mainga.
Speaking at Kasarani Stadium after watching Shabana cruise to the second tier after edging out the well drilled Mwatate United 7-6 on penalties, Nivaton said the future of the club looks bright and called for concerted effort from every Gusii born Kenyan to support the club.
He said the journey has been challenging without sponsorship but expressed confidence the team will soon be back to their rightful place in the lucrative Kenya Premier League.
In attendance, was Kisii Governor James Ongwae,his deputy Joash Maangi, Dagoretti legislator Simba Arati, nominated senator Millicent Omanga, Shabana FC Chairman Paul Mayieko, Kisii county Sports cabinet secretary Dick Mainga and several politicians.
An impromptu fundraising to reward the players was held at the teams changing room where Sh468, 000 was raised Nivaton gave a personal donation of Sh100, 000 and Omanga Sh50, 000.
Nevertheless, it was a heart breaking moment with Shabana boosted by experienced former Sofapaka FC striker Bob Mugalia and Andrew Ongwae forced to dig deep before overcoming their visitors.
The match was decided by the dreaded post match penalties after both teams settled for a 1-1 draw in the normal time. Shabana had controlled proceedings for the better part of the first half but could not find a way past Mwatate, the first half ending 0-0.
Upon resumption, Shabana would fall behind courtesy of a close range strike by Mwatate forward John Musyoka. The lead changed hands in the 62nd minute when Hamisi Hade Hamzo equalized for Shabana.
Shabana would go on to seal a nervy win in the penalties, consequently booking a return to the second tier.