When Mount Kenya United, formerly Nakumatt FC, wound up in an odd 16th position out of 18 teams in the 2018 SportPesa Premier League, a dark, ominous cloud was hanging over the team as it was staring at relegation in the face.
Suffice to say, this was the worst placing by the former supermarket retail side which had finished the league a wrung higher the previous year when it had been formally promoted to the top-tier league.
However, the popular observation is that Nakumatt exceeded expectations in the 2018 SPL considering that the team was grappling with acute lack of funds which saw players and officials going for several months without salaries.
After Nakumatt heaved and puffed in the season under American coach Melis Medo who has since joined Sofapaka, Lady Luck would later smile at the team when they were given a lifeline.
The godsend lifeline came in form of play-offs to ascertain the teams that were to be promoted and those which were to be relegated.
And as if to prove that they rightfully belong to SPL, Mount Kenya United dispatched National Super League side Ushuru 3-0 on aggregate in the play-offs to ensure that they dine again with the big boys in the 2018/2019 season.
Sacrifice by players even with the financial crunch was the buzzword for the team and glad tidings for the team came knocking when a city politician Francis Mureithi purchased the club from Nakumatt Holdings before renaming the team Mount Kenya United.
Since then, life has not been the same again for the team with Timonah Wanyonyi, one of the most experienced players, acknowledging as much.
Hungry for success
“The unswerving support which we have been receiving from the sponsor is overwhelming and I cannot thank him enough. It’s now upon us players to reciprocate the philanthropy with a good performance on the pitch,” said Wanyonyi.
Club Chief Executive Officer Patrick Naggi said the fact that the current Mount Kenya United squad is a blend of youth and experience is the reason why he believes it will be one of those to watch in the upcoming season.
“We want to be the third biggest club in the country and believe me you it is possible for a good measure. We have a bunch of players who are hungry for success,” said Naggi.