NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 19- Fancy dance moves, smiles, laughter and camaraderie galvanized a party-full atmosphere for Tusker FC as they finally laid their hands on the Kenyan Premier league title.
Three years since they lost it to Gor Mahia, it was the most ideal of venues to pick up their 11th title, in the full watch and glare of their predecessors.
It was a bitter pill to swallow and it was evident in the low turnout of fans at the venue.
There was some small debate among the Gor players at the start of the match over whether or not they should hand Tusker a guard of honor as a mark of respect for their title.
At the end, skipper Musa Mohammed managed to convince his team mates to show respect to Tusker, who back in 2014 did the same for them, but only Collins ‘Gattuso’ Okoth defied, choosing to walk back to the bench until all the pleasantries were done.
“It is a very happy day for me. I won it back in 2009 with Sofapaka and I am winning it for the second time and it is surely a great day for me. Not very many people believed we could do it, some wrote us off, but here we are today,” Tusker skipper James Situma who is still in crutches after a knee surgery told Capital Sport.
Head coach Paul Nkata, a man known more for the track suit, Tusker jersey and cap on match day spotted a different look.
A well-knit black suit complete with Tusker ribbons on the edges and for the first time this season he never left the comfort of his seat on the technical bench.
“I am happy… very happy. This suit, I specifically made it for this day. It is a special one for me because it is the first time I am winning the league as head coach. Lifting that trophy felt magical,” Smiling Nkata said after beating Gor.
The usually emotionless Humphrey Mieno was in an unusually great mood and he could afford to take part in the dances here and there as he relished his first ever Kenyan Premier League title.
“I have tried to win the league for many years and today I finally made it. I have a reason to smile and be happy,” Mieno said.
The midfielder who almost signed for Gor in mid-season could not mince his words on the transfer saga; “I was okay with anywhere I would play in the second leg. Either way, I would still have won the league be it with Gor or Tusker. About next season, I am not certain myself where I will be.”
The players came out with their families to enjoy the moment, taking turns to take photos with the piece of silverware.
Gor’s head coach Jose Marcelo Ferreira ‘Ze Maria’ was submissive in defeat.
He said; “Congratulations to them (Tusker) for winning the league. For us, we go back to the drawing board and see how we can perform next season.”