NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 31 – Sofapaka President Elly Kalekwa remains confident the club will not be relegated from the Kenyan Premier League despite sitting second from bottom of the log on 15 points with only eight matches to go.
Sofapaka, the 2009 Kenyan Premier League Champions, have found the going tough this season after losing their entire squad in December last year due to financial constraints.
“Truth be told, we did not start well. We cannot hide from that fact. We have found ourselves in a position on the table where we have never been and it is tough. But I remain confident we can make it. I’m now fully back with the team and we are working as a unit to achieve that target,” Kalekwa told Capital Sport.
Sofapaka played with a hugely inexperienced squad in the first leg, owing to their inability to attract top names due to their negative balance sheet.
In the second leg though, head coach David Ouma went for a more experienced squad, most of who have played for some of the top teams in the league.
Kalekwa, who has been conspicuously missing from the team for the past one year, says he is back for the long haul and has steadied the ship, pulling strings from his own purse.
“Right now, I’m trying with my own resources to see that the team is stable and the players don’t lack salaries even for a month. They are motivated and at least we have good players who are experienced and know what it takes to play in the Premier League,” Kalekwa added.
With eight matches left, Sofapaka will hope 14th placed Ushuru drop points in at least three matches for them to catch up, something that looks more of a mountainous task with matches against AFC Leopards, champions Gor Mahia, Ulinzi Stars and Mathare United being on their season ending menu.
“Some people don’t believe that we can do it. But on my side, I have the faith. We will remain in the league,” The Congolese business man assured.
Ouma carries the same faith and told Capital Sport they will treat all their remaining matches like finals and give their all.
“We have quality players who are giving 100 percent effort in every game and maintaining tactical discipline.”
But even in the event that Batoto ba Mungu fail to hold on to their last straw of hope to remain in top flight football, Kalekwa says he will not close down his wallet on the team.
“That is where we started as Sofapaka even without a sponsor and came on to make history in Kenyan football. Sofapaka will not die even if we go back to the second tier League. I still have a lot in store with this team,” he stated.