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Sofapaka busiest in June transfer window

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Sofapaka captain Hillary Echesa (no.10) complaining to referee alongside other new signings Wesley Onguso (no.5) and Bernard Mang’oli. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 1 – Sofapaka FC, the 2009 Kenyan Premier League champions were the busiest in the just closed June transfer window, bringing in a whooping 13 new players as head coach Sam Ssimbwa moulds the side to challenge for their second ever league title.

Ssimbwa believes he has raked in players he knows will play an influential role in the title campaign and has warned opponents they should be wary of his side.

“We have a good team and so far we have played three games, I am impressed with what I have seen. We are only working to ensure we play as a unit because most of these players have not played together before,” Ssimbwa told Capital Sport.

Sofapaka head coach Sam Ssimbwa signaling his players in their KPL match against Nakumatt FC. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Of his 13 new recruits, he has brought in three from his native Uganda; defender Rodgers Aloro from the saints as well as forwards Umar Kassumba (SC Villa) and Feni Ali (URA).

In total, the June mini-transfer window has seen 15 foreigners come in, 10 from Uganda, two each from Tanzania and Burundi and one from Rwanda.

Apart from Sofapaka, Kakamega Homeboyz and Muhoroni Youth are the other clubs which were busy with new signings. Muhoroni, under new coach Gilbert Selebwa have brought in 11 new players, most of them from the lower leagues while Homeboyz have brought in eight.

At Homeboyz, head coach Mike Mururi has re-united with his former player at Chemelil Jonathan Mwaniki while the club has also snapped up former Kenyan international Collins Kisuya from Sofapaka and forward John Avire on loan from Bandari.

Bandari have also signed eight new players and among the highlights, the Dockers have brought in Field Cosmas from Tanzanian side African Lyon and Ivan Kiweewa from Saints FC in Uganda.

Zico Gor Mahia coach.PHOTO/Goal

The club has also snapped up Gor Mahia defender Bernard Odhiambo who will be on a year-long loan spell in search of play time having suffered with limited action on the pitch since joining from Nakuru All Stars two years ago.

AFC Leopards, a side traditionally known for their hiring and firing prowess have gone for six new faces. Burundian Alex Kitenge joins on a six month loan deal from his Atletico Olympic in Bujumbura while they have also signed Keziron Kizito, a midfielder from Vipers SC in Uganda.

Their arch rivals Gor Mahia have been quiet, just as they have always been in the mini-window, bringing only two players from Nzoia Sugar. Defender Joachim Ochieng and Boniface Omondi will now don the green and white of K’Ogalo.

Other notable transfers sees former AFC Leopards and Western Stima defender Jackson Saleh join Nakumatt FC while there have been loan extensions for forward Clinton Kisiavuki from FC Talanta and Jack Bruno from AFC Leopards.

Despite losing three of their key first team players in midfielder Hillary Echesa, right back Willis Ouma (Sofapaka) and Victor Majjid (AFC Leopards), Chemelil has not sprung into panic mode and have brought in four new players. Benjamin Chaka re-unites with his former coach Juma Abdallah after signing from KCB while journeyman Moses Arita joins the side from Western Stima.

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