NAIROBI, Kenya, January 30 – The taxman was in the news lately for demanding sportspersons to pay their dues and as the new Kenya Premier League (KPL) rolls out in a fortnight, it remains to be seen whether their football side will file enough returns to ensure survival.
With six new experienced signings already secured, KRA coach, Ken Kenyatta, has set finishing among the top eight in the first half of the campaign that kicks off on February 15 before securing KPL status having come close to promotion for three years before they made it last term.
“The team is picking up very well after conditioning and speed. I’m now on ball work because it’s the core of the game. I want to ensure my players are used to the ball especially the defence where they need to be good at drilling and sliding,” the former Harambee Stars and AFC Leopards keeper told Capital Sport Thursday.
The technical bench has retained majority of the squad that won the Division One play-off against former KPL side Posta Rangers since they intend to mould their own players.
“We are doing everything in phases and the next step that we are going to work on is the midfield and then wrap up with attacking. I’m sure when we accomplish this we will be ready for the league,” Kenyatta added.
Former Gor Mahia defender Ivan Anguyo, KCB duo Milton Obote and Carlson Mweresa, defender Edwin Misiko from Chemelili Sugar, striker Rosevelt Blantyr who is on loan from Bandari, midfielder George Mwangi (Nairobi City Stars), keeper Kelvin Otieno and midfielder Philemon Omondi (Mahakama), Emmanuel Obina (Nairobi Stima) and Darius Msagha from Voi United, have joined the taxmen.
He dropped three players namely; Nicky Oyando, Andrew Oloo and Isaiah Omondi.
“Anguyo was released by Gor because his fitness level was not good, so I have worked on him in physical fitness, speed and ball work.
“I know he will get into the system very quickly and that’s why i didn’t go for established players like Jacob Keli or Joseph Shikokoti.
“I’m focused on our first match against Bandari then the next game will have its own time for preparation. My target is to ensure we stay in the league,” he added.
The coach concurred with his employer who ordered sportsmen be tax compliant and should remit their returns in June annually.
“Everybody pays tax no one is special even the President complies. My players and I were paying tax when we were at the national wide.”
KRA have played four pre-season friendlies against two Division- One sides, Oserian FC who they beat 2-1, before edging out Finlays Horticulture 1-0.
The league newcomers, who are done with build up matches, will open their top flight football account away to Bandari on February 16.