The Kenya Premier League side Bandari FC has intensified their pursuit of establishing themselves a football powerhouse in the country following their renewed efforts to sign experienced players in a bid to strengthen their squad after the conclusion of local top flight campaign on Sunday.
The club’s Vice Chairman and long serving football stakeholder Twaha Mbarak is currently leading the mission in Tanzania after watching Burundi’s qualifying fixture for the Africa Cup of Nations against Namibia at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium on Tuesday.
“We are here to continue with our agenda of partnerships with like minded football entities who mean well towards development of the game in Africa.Besides we also came to support and rally behind our Bandari player Nahimana Shassir who is a Burundi national and also try to scout a few exceptional talents who if incorporated into our team they will help us deliver our targets for the subsequent campaign locally and even on the continental scene” he exclusively told KBC Digital Sports.
Since the arrival of Twaha after Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director Captain William Ruto overhauled Bandari FC Board of Trustees retaining Abdullah Samatar as the chairman,the Coastal side has been on a charm offensive seeking to galvanize their result and win top tier for the first time since its inception.
The former Black Panther attacking midfielder is best remembered for his efforts to normalise Kenya’s relations with the world football governing body FIFA leading to unified elections in 2011.
“I am convinced that I have the requisite skills, passion and expertise that will add value to the management of the club.This club is capable of achieving many things. Bandari players, technical staff and the entire management have demonstrated they are hungry for success which is an important element in pursuit of the club’s mission and vision,” remarked Twaha
Tunisian Nasredinne Nabbi who guided Tanzanian giants Yanga FC to the CAF Confederations Cup finals has been the most sought after tactician by the Coastal side as the permanent replacement for Anthony ‘Modo’ Kimani who parted ways with the team over a string of poor results
According to reports,Bandari FC offered the 58-year-old KES 1.5 million monthly salary which was initially rejected even as negotiations continue to be underway to tap the services of equally a highly qualified coach whether local based or a foreigner.
Locally,the Dockers are considered to be approaching former national team Harambee Stars head coach Francis Kimanzi,Tusker FC gaffer Robert Matano,his AFC Leopards counterpart Patrick Aussems among others.
According to Twaha, they are exploring all options to make Bandari a reputable name locally and beyond.
“The plan is to ensure that the team becomes a big competitor domestically and internationally. We want to ensure that Bandari FC competes in African championships while targeting special competitions between us and regional powerhouses like Yanga SC and Simba SC,” said Mbarak, adding that the strategy will ensure that the team is heard and popularised in Kenya and internationally.”
Bandari which has had a turnaround in performances under the temporary tutelage of vastly experienced tactician Twahir Muhiddin winning five and drawing two of the seven games will play against Kariobangi Sharks on Thursday before ending the season with a clash against Posta Rangers on Sunday
“I am not willing to stay in this post beyond the end of the season because I have work to do for the CAF and the Football Kenya Federation. I believe both federations would do with my experience better compared to Bandari,” revealed the former Harambee Stars assistant coach.
Before the international break,they beat 2009 KPL champions Sofapaka 2-0 at the Nyayo Stadium courtesy of goals by James Kinyanjui and the on-form national team Harambee Stars winger Hassan Abdallah.
Last week,Twaha who is a top business man in Mombasa led Bandari FC to commence negotiations with Young Africans which if materialise will see them enter into football partnership geared towards strategic engagement in various areas with the intention to professionalise the local sports industry.