Awendo Green stadium was once a fortress, a venue where opposition fans were made to cheer the home team – or shut up –, where managers dreaded to take their teams, and where Sony Sugar established its name as a force to be reckoned with as far as local football is concerned.
Read the above again, then fast forward to 2015. Therein lies a club who have won only 2 games at home, lost a massive 4 and drawn 2. Four goals scored, 5 conceded giving a -1 goal difference. Doesn’t make for a good reading if you are a ‘Miller’.
Which begs the question; what has happened at the home of the 2006 KPL Champions?
Simple, Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno has somehow worked his magic with the team this season, making them lose the fear factor, turning Awendo into a turf where average teams like Western Stima and less than average ones like Nairobi City Stars travel to get points.
Gone are the days when the Millers could boast of a home form that belched grief into the opposition. Am talking of days as recent as between 23rd May 2009 to May 2nd 2010 when Sony went on a 13-match unbeaten home run, only for Tusker to beat them 2-1 and end the streak. But they were Sony, they picked themselves up again, embarked on a 10-match unbeaten run which was coincidentally broken by tusker in April 2011.
Fast forward to today. Teams on the verge of relegation and those soliciting for motivation to return to winning ways look forward to fixtures at Awendo or by extension, meeting Sony Sugar. That is how far the Millers under the guidance of apparently one of best defensive coaches in the country in Zico have nosedived.
Losing to Western Stima can be forgiven, losing to reigning champions and league leaders Gor Mahia is unavoidable, losing to Thika United should be frowned upon, losing to Nairobi City Star (a team that shouldn’t be in the league to start with) should have you put on the next available Boda Boda to your local pub team.
Zico’s only wins at Awendo were against Ushuru who they beat by a solitary goal, and Chemelil Sugar, a mammoth 3-1 victory, the biggest by their standards this season.
The rot continues.
Sony Sugar have 15 points from as many matches as the first leg of the season climaxed this past weekend. They have scored a laughable 10 goals, just one, ONE, more than the league’s current top scorers Ali Abondo and Meddie Kagere of Gor mahia.
Damn it, even Nakuru All Stars, that team that can’t win a game to beat cancer, have scored more!
The aggregate goals by their two ‘topscorers’ is four! Striker Andrew Sekayombya and midfielder Samuel Onyango have two apiece. The other BIG scorers in the club are Sylvester Wanyama, Meshack Okukhulu, Kennedy Oduor, Vincent Ogutu, Amos Asembeka, and Marwa Chambiri with a goal each.
They have shipped in a whopping 16 goals, only Nakuru All Stars (35), Muhoroni Youth (24), KCB (23), Nairobi City Stars (17) and Thika United (18) have a worse record. Those four teams, bar Thika United, should not be mentioned in the same breath as the mighty Sony.
Writing on the wall
The buck must stop somewhere.
And in this case, the often conceited coach with a bloated ego akin to his good friend Francis Kimanzi at Tusker, (Story can be found here) should be declared a persona non grata at the Millers’ dugout when the new season kicks off.
He has done enough to prove he can’t handle his squad any longer. The writings (reading you will be sacked before second half of the season) should be on the wall, if they aren’t already.
The former Kenya international full-back says he is not scared at all for he feels the situation is still under control.
“It was a loss which we did not expect, they were ambitious and had intentions to win compared to us. We did not play with our hearts out; at long last we ended up losing against the side which was more determined, more organized and more resilient,” he somehow said after suffering his 8th loss of the season against City Stars.
Unbelievable! Who says that!
“I am not worried with my job; I do not think it has reached there. We still have a good relationship with the management. The injuries have hit us hard; we have been inconsistent because of that. Changing squads each and every time affects the team negatively and that is what we have been experiencing.”
Not good enough.
It is clear that his desire is to be entrusted with funds to strengthen the squad this transfer window. Somehow, he wants to be hanging around the Sony Sugar managerial seat when the second leg starts.
That should not happen. For his own sake, he needs new challenge after being at the club for 4 years. For Sony’s sake, they need a new manager, anyone but Zico’s good friend, err…