Football Football

Behold! The new SPL trophy is here!

Pambazuka Entertainment models Winnie Njoki (left) and Penninah Juma parade the new SPL trophy during its launch in Nairobi on October 30, 2015. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya
Pambazuka Entertainment models Winnie Njoki (left) and Penninah Juma parade the new SPL trophy during its launch in Nairobi on October 30, 2015. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, October 30 – SportPesa Premier League champions Gor Mahia have strict measures in place to avoid chaos that blighted their coronation for the past two seasons when they will be officially handed the new SportPesa Premier League trophy on Sunday.

Speaking during the unveiling of the glittering 12kg silverware on Friday, Gor skipper Jerim Onyango, urged their loyal Green Army supporters to uphold calm and give players ample time to take photos to savour the historic moment after the team wrapped their third successive title.

“These are memorable moments that we are going to face as players and as a captain. We are hoping we will not have a repeat of the past two seasons. What happened wasn’t good because we didn’t have time to take photos especially as a team.

“This time, players are looking forward for the day. They will have their families around and give them time to take photos and above all have memories of winning the league.

“Winning it (league) three times in row is not easy. We hope there will be good security and gates will be opened early,” Onyango, who will have the privilege of hoisting the trophy aloft thrice, urged.

As the home team in their final fixture against Muhoroni Youth, K’Ogalo will beef up security in and around the stadium where the fanfare will start at 7am with entertainment before gates open at 10am ahead of the 3pm kick-off.

To avoid a pitch invasion, the club will have screens inside the stadium to enable fans follow the trophy presentation with stern warning issued to unruly support who might attempt to disrupt the party.

“We have behaved well throughout the season and we expect the same on the final day. These will not only give our players ample time to celebrate but attract sponsors. We will have enough security to ensure the day is a success.

“Whoever will try to invade the pitch or destabilize proceedings, will make an example to the rest. Tickets will be sold from 7am at the stadium booth and in town where there will be two vans,” Gor vice-chairman, John Pesa declared.

Just like 2013 when the team was treated to a grand entrance to Safaricom Stadium in Kasarani in a movie star convoy after winning a first time in 18 years, plans are afoot to layout the ‘swag’ that fervent supporters of the side identify with.

“Our wish was to do it more than 2013 but finances are a stumbling block. For security reasons, we are not allowed to bring in players in convoy but we are still hoping to airlift few players, maybe the captain and few players who have been sensational.

“We will host the team and their families for dinner at a Nairobi hotel,” a Gor official told Capital Sport.

Gor will be the first team to have their name engraved on the handmade trophy that is 90cm tall and 60cm wide.

“The trophy is supposed to a mark of the new beginning. We had to go for something elegant. It’s not finished yet, it will be returned to Italy after presentation for a few adjustments that will take a month. It has cost over Sh1m.

“The trophy has been bench marked to international standards. It’s a brass trophy and has a sliver coating all around. From next season we will have a replica for the winning team. We couldn’t start immediately because our partnership with Kenyan Premier League was to start next year,” SportPesa marketing manager, Kester Muhonja told.

Gor will keep the old ‘big eared jug’ silverware for good to mark their feat of winning it thrice or as they say, Giniwasekano!