NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 16- Since they announced their arrival in the Kenyan Premier League with a bang winning the title on their debut in 2009, Sofapaka have been perennial contenders for the league as well as the domestic cup.
However, seven years down the line, Batoto ba Mungu find themselves fighting a different battle; that of staying afloat the top tier.
Sofapaka are currently placed second last on the log on 15 points, seven off safety with eight matches to go.
Head coach David Ouma, after leading the side to back-to-back victories over fellow strugglers Nairobi City Stars and Ushuru, now beams with confidence that the side can manage a great escape and have another season playing in top flight football.
The Sofapaka dressing room was a theatre of song and dance on Saturday after the side’s 2-0 win over Ushuru with tunes of ‘yote yawezekana kwa imani’ being belted and Ouma stands on the same rock of faith heading into the final fixtures.
“I believe and have faith that we can do it. We take each match at a time and put our best because closing that gap is very important for us. The last two wins give us more confidence and an opportunity to fight harder. Everything is possible and we have to keep on believing and give our best,” an emotional Ouma told Capital Sport.
They will be confronted by tough fixtures heading into the sunset days of the season with three away trips to title chasing Ulinzi Stars, Sony Sugar, and Mathare United as well as home ties to Posta Rangers, Muhoroni Youth, defending champions Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards and Thika United.
“We’ve got to have nerves in the remaining games which are very tough and I believe the players have the potential to do it,” Ouma added.
After handling a tough first leg with a squad of youthful inexperienced players, Ouma went for a more mature squad in the second leg with the likes of veteran defender Noah Abich, Moses ‘Dube’ Odhiambo, Charles Pilipili, George Maelo and Jaffer Gichuki joining to salvage the derailing train.
Ouma believes the recent successive victories will spur his side to some belief they can pull a grand escape.
“It is the first time we are winning two games in a row. The fight is hard but we will continue building on. Keeping a clean sheet in the last two matches is great; I want to commend my players. It is still a long way to go and we need to give everything and keep pushing,” the tactician offered.
The return of club president Elly Kalekwa and his bag of monies has been a huge boost to the squad as they engage in the final gear to pull off the mad.
A senior player in the team has confided to Capital Sport that the players have been paid their salaries and match bonuses since the start of the second leg.
“He is confident with us and ever since we came in, I haven’t heard anyone complaining of lack of salaries. He told us he will do everything to ensure we are not relegated and we will work hard to see that his wish comes true,” the player revealed.