NAKURU, Kenya, May 27- Having scored 10 goals in 15 matches, Ulinzi Stars forward John Mark Makwatta has set his sights on the Golden Boot, targeting more than 20 goals this season.
Makwatta, who netted 14 goals last season to finish second-runners up, trails current top scorer Muhoroni Youth’s Wycliffe Ochomo by a goal but he believes with more hard work in the second leg, he can enter the history books of the few Kenyan strikers to have hit past the 20-goal mark in a single season.
“Last season at the end of the first leg, I had scored seven goals and this time, I have 10. It shows that there has been some huge improvement on my side. This has been because of my team mates since we always push each other to work hard and the fans as well have been demanding a goal more every match,” the former Nairobi City Stars midfielder told Capital Sport.
The return of fellow striker Stephen Waruru will not only be a big boost to Ulinzi but to Makwatta as well with the former having stood as Ulinzi’s top striker before leaving for military duty in terms of goals and assists.
The two played together for only two months towards the end of the 2014 season after Makwatta joined the side from recruit training school.
Makwatta believes the return of Waruru will make Ulinzi title contenders and he has urged his team mates to put in an extra effort when the second leg begins in July.
“We have a very good chance because it has been long since we finished the first leg on second spot. We can push till the final hurdle and we only need to work harder,” he stated.
Meanwhile, head coach Robert Matano has admitted he will have a huge depth of squad in the second leg with several players returning.
Apart from Waruru, the side will welcome back defender Mohammed ‘Rio’ Hassan and winger Ezekiel Otuoma who both missed the first leg due to injuries.
Elvis Nandwa will be back to the team after military training same as former Sony Sugar man Samuel Onyango who will be officially joining the team.
“It will be up to them to work hard and show that they are worthy to be in the team. If they work hard enough then they will get themselves places in the team and for sure, we will have depth,” Matano asserted.
Ulinzi rounded up the first leg with a 1-1 home draw against Kakamega Homeboyz, a result that sees them finish second on 27 points, one behind leaders Tusker FC.