During the 2018 SportPesa Premier League (SPL), Posta Rangers were at the gateway of hogging the limelight for all the wrong reasons when they were nearly demoted to the second-tier National Super League (NSL).
However, the mailmen under the tutelage of former Kenya international Sammy “Pamzo” Omollo (pictured) produced a great escape act by winding up in the 15th position out of 18 teams which was just above the cut-off point.
With relegation seemingly a real threat for Rangers before then, Omollo who took over the team’s coaching duties from Zedekiah Otieno two years ago told his charges to strive to turn round the dwindling fortunes lest was doomed.
Fast forward to the 2018/2019 season which kicks off this week, Rangers will be among the teams that shall dine again with the big boys but what is certain is that they are not ready to survive by a skin of their teeth once more.
“We want to post outright victories in the new season to save ourselves the agony of clutching onto reeds once again,” said Omollo whose team has twice been promoted twice and relegated once from the top tier league.
For Rangers, their story reads like that of the proverbial phoenix which rose from the ashes of incarceration even as deep financial problems crept in to the point of players going for several months without pay.
Rangers’ tribulations started when betting firm Lotto withdrew sponsorship towards the team which in turn resulted in some of their key players like Farouk Shikalo and Patrick Matasi leaving for greener pastures, a scenario which reduced the team to strugglers.
“Some of the utility players decamped to other teams and this was the Achilles heel thus the indifferent results the team was posting. But I must say I had a brigade of hardworking players who were determined not to go down without a fight,” said Omollo.
True to their character, Rangers loyalists fought to the last man standing in the last stretch of the league to save the team the trouble of either going through the play-offs to survive the chop or outright banishment from the recently concluded 2018 season.
But what does the future hold for Rangers and especially with the upcoming season which shall kick off early unlike the previous editions?.
“We have invested on predominantly young players for continuity and given that there is a sprinkling of established lot, I believe we can perform pretty well in the league,” offered Omollo, one of the most experienced indigenous coaches in the country.