Taufiq Balala:We're working on an ambitious football project with Mvita Youngsters
The patron of coastal side Mvita Youngsters Taufiq Balala has backed the ambition of the recently formed team adding that its success would be the case study of various local football sides in the country .
Speaking to KBC Digital Sports,Balala who also doubles up as the Mombasa county Transport and Infrastructure Executive Member reiterated his commitment of supporting the team which has shown utmost desire to grow and play competitive football at the high level.
"Since formation our team has been doing very well in terms of both performance and fanaticism which forms an integral part of success of any soccer team.We hype our matches and use known local influencers to push fans to come into the stadium and that has proved to pay off.
"All my players are between 16-24 and one already signed for a club in Dubai while three of them have been called up for trials next month in the Asian country. Our coach is only 26 and has already won 2 Mombasa premier titles in 2020 and 2021 while last year we finished as runners up on goal difference" he said.
The long-serving football stakeholder further urged the relevant entities mandated to run football in the country to prioritise packaging club football at the league level in order to boost the performance of national teams at both continental and international scene.
He further noted that once club football is lucrative, it will entice fans into the stadium which in turn attract sponsorship from corporates seeking to get value for their investment.
"We must never discuss Harambee Stars.We must only discuss club football and the fan base which attracts sponsorship and the national team will come naturally.We must never discuss youth academies until we sort out the top flight league." remarked Taufiq
"Kenyans love football which is the most popular sport in the world as it's extremely powerful bringing people of different background together and generating billions of revenue like we saw at the Qatar World Cup but we need to work hard and create a fresh product meaning disband the current FKF Premier League and be more creative" he added.
Bandari FC is the sole representative in the top tier having been founded in 1985 and finishing fourth last season.
“The main aim of Kenya Ports Authority at Bandari is to fuel football growth. We want local teams in the Coastal region to become feeders of our team. This will enhance growth in all areas, including economic growth,” said Bernard Osero, the club vice chairman.
Coastal football in Kenya, Mombasa notably, has a distinctive style from that played in other parts of the country. Leisurely played on the sandy beaches, it prioritises flair and flamboyance over an ‘end justify the means’ result-driven approach.
The region has produced several stars like former Harambee Stars goalkeeper Mahmoud Abbas and ex-coach Mohammed Kheri who were honoured by the previous regime as a distinguished group of citizens during the 10th Mashujaa day celebrations held in Mombasa in 2019.
Abbas was Kenya and AFC Leopards' goalkeeper in the 1980s and helped the national team win the Cecafa Cup three times when he established himself as one of the finest custodians in the country while Kheri, who managed the national team in two stints in 1990 and 2005 helped Harambee Stars book an Africa Cup of Nations slot during his first spell.