KISUMU, September 15 – Muhoroni Youth forward, George Mandela, is eager to power his team to a historic top-five finish after enjoying an unbeaten second leg to the season in a run only bettered by champions –in-waiting Gor Mahia.
Mandela embodied the sugar belt’s side renaissance when he was crowned the August Sports Journalist Association/SportPesa Player of the Month in a ceremony organised by his club at Kisumu’s Moi Stadium on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old, who joined the team at the beginning of the season from Busia’s Vote FC, won the gong ahead of Bandari’s George Abege and Gambian forward Ebrima Sanneh of Nairobi City Stars on 20 points.
“I’m so happy because this has never happened in my life. The team performed well in August because of teamwork and that’s why we managed to go without losing,” the soft-spoken striker underlined.
Mandela, who is a doubt for their GOtv Shield round of 32 clash on Saturday against KCB after pulling a hamstring in training, scored three goals in August to rise to seventh before beating Mathare United 2-0 in their first September game to dislodge Tusker FC from fourth on 38 points.
He came off the bench to seal Muhoroni’s 2-0 win over Chemelil Sugar, before going on to score against Western Stima and Sofapaka in Machakos during his purple scoring perch.
“Our target is to finish in the top five though it’s tough but we will give it our best. I always pray to God that I get a chance to play in the national team and in Europe. Discipline played a big role in my award winning and I thank the team for making it happen,” Mandela who was not booked in August stated.
His coach, Paul Nkata who joined the team mid-season, was confident they can gun for the top three in the league and lift either the GOtv Shield or KPL Top 8 cup competitions.
“My coming to Muhoroni helped him a lot and I think I will do the same to the rest. We are proud of him because he scored crucial goals. Previously I had aimed to finish top eight, but now in fourth it’s great and if third position comes it will be a plus.
“The second season was wonderful since we managed to beat all teams apart from three,” Nkata, the Ugandan tactician stated.
Muhoroni will face Gor Mahia in the quarter-finals of KPL top 8.
“We are preparing for KCB and we will approach it differently since they are a good team with talented players. Despite them losing to Nakuru All Stars, we will handle them with care.”
Mandela became the sixth player to receive the award that sees the winner walk away with 42 in smart TV, Sh50, 000 and a trough engraved on his name.
Muhoroni Youth are enjoying their fifth stint in the top flight football league after earning promotion in 2011.