He would get changed and put on his gloves, ready to play his heart out between the posts.”
Very soon, the weekly Kenyan kickabout began to be taken more seriously.
“We started growing and getting more people involved,” said Ngurugwe. “We started to realise we had a very good environment for football and looked at moving things forward. We decided to create a club.”
FC Kenya now has 60 players on its database, with a core squad of 30 training every week at UCL Qatar facilities, which Ngurugwe organises through his employers.
“When you train here, it doesn’t matter where you work, it doesn’t matter where you go to church or where you worship. We come as a team, we come as one family,” said Ngurugwe.
“We have so many young kids in the team with great potential. We even have players who played in the leagues in Kenya but they couldn’t get better pay or join the national team – so they ended up coming to Qatar for work.”
Running the team is always a challenge, with work commitments and transportation costs affecting the squad size on match days. But as former professional player Davis Ayala explains, Ngurugwe’s outreach efforts and strong organisational skills bring everyone together.
“We have people from the hotel industry, the service industry, construction. Some people come from Umm Salal and the Industrial Area, others come from Al Khor.”
Ayala continued: “Sometimes we might gather them all at once, but sometimes they have to sacrifice playing. We don’t have ample time to train but we have great management and one of the best units in terms of discipline.”
FC Kenya’s breakthrough came in 2014 xem bong da truc tuyen when they took part in the Qatar Foundation Semi-Pro Football Cup and made it all the way to the quarter-finals.
“That made us think ‘yes, we can go far’. It was amazing when we realised we can win,” said Ngurugwe.