AWENDO, Kenya, June 7- Sony Sugar has released five players as head coach Salim Babu eyes a top eight finish at the end of the season.
Defender Charles Bruno, winger Robert Omunuk, Ugandan duo of Hamidu Kwizera and goalkeeper Allan Owiny have seen their contracts run out while forward Hassan Mohammed has been dropped.
Speaking to Capital Sport, club chairman Paul Orato said they had tried to lure Kwizera, Bruno and Omunuk into penning new deals but they declined with reports suggesting Omunuk is headed back to Tusker FC.
Babu, who was named the Fidelity Insurance coach of the Month for May said he will drop one more player before the June transfer window closes.
“We wanted to retain Kwizera, Bruno and Omunuk because they had been vital to the team but they declined. They quoted high figure of sign on fee and salary which as a club we could not afford so we made the decision to let them go,” Orato stated.
The team has acquired the services of striker Jeremiah Wanjala from Kakamega Homeboyz while midfielder David Simiyu has been promoted from the Sony Sugar Under-20 team.
“We are looking to bring in at least four new players; a goalkeeper, defender and strikers because that is the area we are weak. We have had a challenge mostly in defence because most of our key players have been nursing long term injuries like Eugene Ochieng and Maxwell Sikolia,” Orato added.
Orato disclosed that they have plans to give Babu a permanent contract after being in charge as interim coach since Leonard Odipo resigned in April.
However, the biggest challenge they face is Kenyan Premier League’s law that bars coaches without a minimum of CAF B certification from handling a Premier League club since Babu has KNVB coaching certificates.
“We are in a tough situation because there is the law and we respect the law. But this man is performing. We have plans to take him on a long term coaching course probably at the end of the season so we want to request KPL if they can allow him to go on till the end of the season then next year we make a permanent deal for him after the course,” Orato urged.
“He (Babu) has played here before, understands our culture and the players understand him. It is then difficult for us to make any decision to remove him.”
Babu first took over at Sony on care taker basis mid last year after the departure of Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno but could not go on due to lack of proper certification to see the club opt for Odipo.
“I am hoping I can advance my knowledge because I have a passion for football. Hopefully, I get the qualifications to manage the team next year. I believe I can,” Babu underscored.
Babu has been in charge of seven games for the club, leading them to five wins, one draw and a loss.
He believes if the team keeps the tempo, they will manage to finish the season within the top eight, but he reckons they must work harder and win more points especially away from home.