The new KPL season wait is over
The new Kenyan Premier League (KPL) season is just days away and football lovers across the country have been anxiously waiting for the football spectacle.
The new season curtain raiser will be the DStv Cup which has been a worthwhile prospect for teams, giving them financial muscle before the league proper. Once again Tusker will clash with their arch rivals Gor Mahia to get bragging rights and the first silverware of the season.
The KPL has been ranked among the most attractive leagues in Africa, with host broadcaster SuperSport ensuring that fans across the continent stay glued to their television sets whenever matches are played.
Two new teams, namely Bandari and Kakamega Homeboyz, have been promoted to the league and they will get a baptism of fire as they try to prove their worth in the tough league that has seen teams go down the lower league as fast as they came to the top tier league.
In the 2012 season it was a photo finish, with Tusker eclipsing Gor Mahia in the last day of the season, spoiling the party for the Mighty Kogalo fans, who had been psyched to get the glory after many years of desperation. In the end it was all tears and sorrow as Tusker reclaimed their title, winning back to back.
This season is very unpredictable. I envisage a very competitive season where every team will be going for the jugular, with most having gone for the best players that money could buy.
To all the players in the league, the news that the national team doors are open to all will be a welcome relief. They will all be seeking to impress in their league matches to get a call-up by the new coach, Adel Amrouche.
The big teams, Gor Mahia,Tusker and AFC Leopards, have their work cut out for them and will need to put in more effort to be able to retain the status quo. Small teams like Muhoroni,Homeboyz,Chemelil and even Sony Sugar will be out to spoil things for them.
The KPL management has also gone a notch higher to ensure that the league remains lucrative by raising the prize money from ksh1.5 million to ksh4 million. This move has ensured that the competitiveness of the league will remain intact and teams will have more to fight for.
All the 16 teams have a make-or-break chance in the 2013 season. The league will be a crucial stage where pretenders will be separated from the actual contenders with young, potentially vulnerable teams seeking to prove all the pundits wrong.
Caution seems to be the order of the day, with every coach avoiding any public utterances but instead focusing on preparing their teams ahead of the season. No team can afford to be a resident dweller at the bottom of the league as teams experience the highs and lows of top-flight football.
Let the games begin. We all expect a feisty atmosphere with football that will be played in spectacular, dramatically different fashion.
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