Jericho All Stars will lock horns with Technical University of Kenya “TUK” in the final of inaugural Sportpesa Super 8 Champions League, Sunday, October 13, 2016, Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi.
All Stars stamped their authority as East conference powerhouse after dimming conference rivals Shauri Moyo Blue Stars 1-0 in the semis, Sunday, October 30, to set a hot-date with West conference kings TUK in a highly billed East Vs West grand finale.
Jericho, finished runner-ups in the Sportpesa Super 8 premier league, and will be out for a silverware solace when they clash with the university students in the battle which highlights the ‘Wakilisha Mtaa Yako’ tagline, that seeks to bring fans back to the stadium to rally, and support their local football heroes in the grassroots community teams.
As they trail their eyes on Sunday 13, here are what you need to know about Jericho All Stars.
Road to final
For Jericho, the road to the SPS8 CL final was not been a stroll in the park. In quarters, they summoned all their strength and managed to hold their nerves to overpower bitter rivals Kayole Asubuhi 5-4 in post-match penalty shoot-outs, following a 0-0 draw in normal time, to progress to the semis where they beat Blue Stars last weekend.
But before this, they booked a spot on the table of men by virtue of finishing second in the 16-team SPS8 premier league mid-September, with 62 points – a devastating experience, they would wish to erase by lifting the Champions league, which tags along a cool Kshs 500,000 as prize money from organizers Extreme Sports Limited, and title sponsor Sportpesa.
In the Wakilisha Mtaa Yako campaign, Jericho who are based in Makadara region represents the Eastside conference where they enjoy huge following from areas such as Buru Buru, Hamza, Harlem, Jerusalem, Maringo, Mbotela, Makongeni and Kaloleni.
They train at Jericho’s Camp Toyoyo ground, which is their home ground during league matches, and enjoy overwhelming support from their fans who throng the iconic venue, whenever they take to the pitch.
All Stars are coached by Thomas Okongo, who has been with the team since March this year after taking the mantle from current Thika United coach James Nandwa.
Jericho is a community based team which was formed in the mid- 90’s by a group of young men who lived within the neighbourhood, among them the late celebrated football pioneer Leon ‘Oti Father’ Omar, and current football administrator Martin ‘Tino’ Chiseka.
Considered one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods back then, Jericho All Stars came to be out of the need to create something that could distract the youth’s in the area from crime, and other vices that overshadowed potential football talent in the area.
All Stars have taken part in many competitions so far and despite missing out on the SPS8 premier league crown, they have been one of the most outstanding teams in the competition, in fact , they conceded the least goals (25) in the whole season.
One of the outstanding players for Jericho is flamboyant striker Victor ‘Pompii’ Walera. The right-footer notched 16 goals in the premier league, and his speed and clinical finishing has been instrumental elements for the club when goals are needed.
His well-articulated combination with goal-hunting compatriot Eddie ‘Bombay’ Kuria, wingers Kevin Ndubuliwa and Tom ‘Messi’ Okoth have all formed a striking force to reckon with.
Kelvin Omondi has been a formidable pillar at the core of the defence line for All Stars, where they hold forte together with Eddie Otieno, right-back and skipper Moses ‘90’ Ouma and combative left-back Maqbul Mohammed.
The midfield is marshalled by Nicholas Mohamed, Nduati Mwangi and Bosire Waran, while the eagle-eyed Erick ‘De Gea’ Ogweda is man between the sticks for All Stars.