Posta Rangers retain KPL status after switching off Stima in playoffs

Sound pre-season preparations for the 2019-2020 season remain top in John Kamau’s wishlist after successfully guiding Posta Rangers through a drenching SportPesa Premier League/ National Super League playoff against Nairobi Stima.

Rangers held Stima to a one-all draw yesterday at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos in the second leg of the playoff to secure yet another season in the top flight league.

Kamau, who took over the reigns in January identified poor pre-season preparations was to blame for their delicate situation but has predicted better tidings for the club going forward.

Rangers finished third from bottom in the recently concluded KPL season and had to reaffirm their status through a two-legged playoff against Stima, who were third in the NSL behind Wazito and Kisumu All Stars.

The mailmen, who had reaped a 2-1 win in the first leg played last weekend at Karuturi grounds took the lead barely three minutes into the game through Francis Nambute for a 3-1 aggregate lead and Dennis Oalo’s second-half strike proved to be just a mere consolation.

“We have really struggled this season and especially from the time I took over the reigns,” said Kamau.

“It was not easy for me to get positive results. I had to change a lot of aspects but the time was limited as matches were coming thick and fast. I am glad we have survived and I will personally oversee our preparations for next season. A lot has to be done and I am also looking to the possibility of shipping in new players.”

The former national U-23 coach added: “Stima had nothing to lose after surrendering in the first leg. I knew we would beat them as they approach matches with a lot of physique and it’s easy to read and hit them when it matters most. I respect them a lot but I knew we would beat them.”

Meanwhile, Stima coach Evans Mafuta is angling at retaining a large chunk of his players and muscle for automatic promotion to the KPL next season. Stima bought arguably the best players in the last transfer period with an eye of gracing the Premier League but were unable to beat Wazito and Kisumu All Stars to the two automatic promotion slots.

“We fought our hearts out but we were unfortunate to miss out this season both in the league and the playoff. We have a strong unit which is a blend of both senior and young players and I am looking to retain almost all of them and work towards gaining automatic qualification next season,” said Mafuta. “We played a strong team in the playoff and gave our best but luck was not on our side. We had a good season and we will build from there.”