Shabana FC ready to face AFC Leopards during FKF Premier League match at Ulinzi Sports Complex. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Shabana FC's return to the FKF Premier League has been anything but smooth, as they continue to grapple with challenges and a struggle to establish themselves in the top tier of Kenyan football.

The team clinched their promotion after a triumphant campaign in the National Super League, ending a 17-year absence from the Premier League.

However, the initial optimism surrounding their return has faded, replaced with the harsh realities of top-flight football.

Shabana's recent 1-0 loss to Muhoroni Youth at Raila Odinga Stadium in Homa Bay marked their ninth defeat of the season, leaving them second-last in the league with 14 points. Nzoia Sugar are last on 13 points.

The team's struggle is underscored by their inability to secure a win since December 16 when they convincingly defeated Sofapaka 4-1 in Machakos.

Inconsistency has been a defining feature of their matches, with a mix of draws, losses, and wins. 

FC Talanta's Augustine Kuta and Nairobi City Stars' Calvins Opollo (right) during FKF Premier League at Ruaraka grounds. Jan 6, 2024. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Shabana's survival in the competitive league is now in question, given their struggles with consistency, defensive solidity, and goal-scoring prowess.

In contrast, fellow newcomers like Murang’a SEAL have surprised many with their resilience and determination.

As Shabana fight to find stability and rhythm, the table-topping Gor Mahia continue to maintain their lead, showcasing resilience and intent to remain at the summit.

Gor enjoy a seven-point advantage at the top with 37 points followed by Nairobi City Stars with 30.

The road ahead for Shabana FC seems challenging, and their fate in the league hangs in the balance. To stand a chance of survival, they must urgently re-evaluate their strategies, strengthen team dynamics, and find the much-needed balance between defense and offense.

The upcoming fixtures will be crucial, serving as a litmus test for the team's resilience and determination to navigate the unforgiving nature of the FKF Premier League.

Former Harambee Stars, Shabana and Kisumu Posta player Elijah Onsika.[Courtesy]

Meanwhile, Shabana legends led by Elijah Onsika have come out to castigate cases of violence witnessed during the team's last match against Muhoroni Youth at Raila Odinga Stadium. 

After the match, Shabana and Muhoroni Youth fans clashed as they pelted each other with stones and other weapons.

"It's so unfortunate that as we try to believe that football is slowly growing, we are taken back with cases of hooligansim," said Onsika, who also played for Kisumu Posta.

"We condemn these acts and call on the federation to take action against culprits and ensure safety in our stadiums."

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