Football Football

Sofapaka out to claw back KPL glory


SOFAPAKA-TUSKERNAIROBI, Kenya, January 29 – After finishing third last season, Sofapaka President Elly Kalekwa, says their target is to reclaim the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title they last won in 2009.

According to the club chairman new signings Burundian internationals, Celestine Nabohimana and forward Fiston Abdulrazak, are due in the country by Friday to link up with the squad that is finalising on pre-season training in Nairobi.

The pair will join after completing national duty at the ongoing Africa Home Nations Championships in South Africa, where Burundi were bundled out at the preliminary stage.

“We are ready for the new season but for now, we are focused on defending the Kenya Power Charity Cup since it will be a good way to start the season.

“We are done with signings because we acquired all quality players we need to replace those who left,” Kalekwa told Capital Sport on Wednesday.

Former Leopards shot-stopper, Barnabas Tiema, Harambee Stars forward, Clifton Miheso (Thika United), Humphrey Mieno, who returns to the club after a season-long stint at Azam, former Mathare United midfielder, Heavener Maloba and Maurice Odipo, who joins from Bandari have also joined the Batoto ba Mungu.

Defender James Situma now at Ingwe and forward Bob Mugalia who has joined Tusker FC on loan have left the 2009 champions.

Assistant coach, David Ouma,  is  focused on starting the season on a high and their mission is to defend the Charity Cup this weekend at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium.

“Our six new players except the Burundians have been training with us for the last three weeks and they have gelled with the old players.

“Last season, the gear slowed down because most of our players went for trials in South Africa, but this time round we have depth in our squad, so our eyes are focused on the title.

“Sofapaka made history by joining KPL and winning the trophy, since that day it has been our culture to continue giving our best and ensuring we finish above top five,” Ouma told.

He added the departure of Mugalia to Tusker will have no major impact on their plans.

“Mugalia made a good move to join the former champions. That shows he is growing and as a club, we only wish him well in his new team.

“He did not have a good last season because he only featured in the first leg and for him going on loan, I’m sure he will revive his career.

“We did the same with Bernard Mang’oli when AFC Leopards loaned the midfielder to us, when the player went back to Ingwe, he was in top form.”

Batoto Ba Mungu will take on Gor Mahia in the Charity semis hoping to repeat last year’s triumph over them before facing either Ingwe or Mathare if they prevail over the league champions.

Sofapaka will move to their new home in Machakos County after the competition, to acclimatize with the Kenyatta Stadium where they will be hosting their league matches.

They open their KPL campaign with an away fixture at Muhoroni Youth on February 15.