Bernard Mwalala side risk being under pressure after last season’s second place finish and anything below that performance will be considered a failure.
Last Season’s Finish: 2nd
Early meetings with Gor Mahia and Sofapaka FC will provide important indications of how well-placed Bandari are to push for the title as indicated by head coach Mwalala when he bagged the coach of the month gong early last week. There will be intrigue and perhaps concern as to how quickly Mwalala reinforced side, who finished 13 points adrift of Gor Mahia last season, will adapt to opposition tactics now that each opponent are considering them as one of the best in the league.
Ask Gor Mahia or AFC Leopards or Sofapaka to some extent, there is a way coaches in the division set up teams when they come against the so called ‘title favorite’ teams. Teams tend to give their all with the players and coaches always seeing it as the perfect opportunity to showcase what they can do when they come against the best teams; and this can be a nuisance for Mwalala if he isn’t prepared well. They are no longer underdogs in any given game.
In an ideal world it may be enough for Bandari to comfortably finish in the top four bracket but football isn’t played on paper. Mwalala might have spoken about the title but him as anyone knows that it might be a punch above his weight.
That apart, there is a clear indication from the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) bosses that they at least need a trophy in their cabinet this season. Comparing themselves with the best teams in the division isn’t far fetched though; this is a team that have done their business silently and maintained almost every player that did duty last season.
The team’s strong area last season was their defence but they will need to bang in the goals regularly if they are to compete with the best. It is an African Cup of Nation Year too and with eyes cast in the team, every other player in this side would want to impress the national team bosses. It’s a do or die season for them if they are to join the elite teams.