Interesting Facts About Kariobangi Sharks FC , Owners and Much More
Kariobangi Sharks FC is a professional football club based in Nairobi, Kenya participating in Kenya’s premier league. The team originated from the slums of Kariobangi, a well-known area in Nairobi.
The club is nicknamed Sharks of K.Shark, but most of its fans refer to the boys as “Sharkmen”. Compared to other clubs Sharks is among the youngest teams in the KPL competition having joined the league in 2017.
However, despite being among the youngest team it is one of the most hard-working teams with very disciplined players. Though the club has not been lucky to pull any league title, the Sharkmen have been exhibiting spectacular performance for the past 20 years they have been in existence.
Kariobangi Sharks FC Humble Beginning
Most football clubs have a history as well as a story behind their formations as well as success. For Kariobangi Sharks their journey is unique and inspiring.
Everything began at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Kariobangi where young boys could meet after school hours for an evening match. Kariobangi is well known as a prime spot for criminal activities within Nairobi and most of the time referred to as a “No Go Zone.” In order to dodge the criminal groups, most youths directed their attention to football.
Holy Trinity was their stadium where they used a concrete basketball court as a football pitch. Despite playing on a concrete ground most of them were bare-footed and the ball was usually mended by a cobbler.
Sometimes they would use the traditionally made balls made of plastic bags and ropes. The teams had no coach or a captain the players acted as the coach and referee at the same time and when things got heated the game ended prematurely.
Kariobangi Sharks Founder
As the boys struggled, a sports enthusiast, Nick Mwendwa would occasionally watch them through his window. He could not help but notice the potential in the boys and how disorganized they were.
Eventually, he decided to offer a hand and bought them three new balls. He went on and started training with them on weekdays, after some time the boys branded their team and named it Kariobangi Sharks.
Mwendwa doubled up as the team coach as well as manager of the team and the team started showing signs of prosperity. Uniforms and shoes still remained a crisis. During training one side had to remain shirtless to differentiate the sides.
Rise to Glory
After a long struggle in local games, Mwendwa registered the team in the Kenya Football Federation in February 2001. Following the registration, the club began playing at a lower level in Nairobi province at that time. The team did well and earned a promotion to Division II which was a bit higher league.
In 2011, the club landed a spot in KFF nationwide league, and in 2013 they played in the newly founded National Super league 2013. During the finals of the Super League in 2015-2016, they were promoted to KPL.
Kariobangi Sharks Achievements
In 2017, they managed to get to the Federation Cup final for the first but Ingwe thrashed them 2-0. The team ended the debut season in position 3 which was way better. After missing the Federation cup in 2017, in 2018 they were on it again and this time around they clinched it after pounding Sofapaka 3-2.
In the 2018/19 season, the team managed to play in the CAF Confederation Cup Qualifier for the first time.
Kariobangi Sharks Stadium
Being based in Nairobi the club uses the Utalii Sports Ground as their home ground. The stadium holds a maximum capacity of 15000 spectators.
Currently, the club chairman is Robert Maoga while William Muluya serves as the head coach of the team.