NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24- Newly promoted side Kariobangi Sharks is cautious ahead of their Kenyan Premier League debut with head coach William Muluya saying their main aim is to cement their place in the league.
Sharks earned promotion to the top tier league following their second finish in the 2016 National Super League season after constantly fighting to climb up since 2013.
“It is a great feat for the club to achieve but now this is just the beginning of the hard work. I can’t say excitement has gripped the players because we know where we are going is tougher,” Muluya who joined Sharks midway through last season taking over from Mike Amenga told Capital Sports.
“We are approaching the league with caution enough to know we need to make the right steps. We are not coming to make a mark but to see if we can sustain the tempo there then come the second season we will try see how competitive we can be,” he added.
The club founded by Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa in 2000 as a community club has been busy on the transfer market as they aim to strengthen enough to sustain the pressure that comes with playing on the big stage.
Muluya, nicknamed ‘Kanu’ has gone for a blend of youth and experience. He has brought in former Sofapaka, Mathare United and Tusker FC utility player Osborne Monday and the Mathare United duo of goalkeeper Robert ‘Boban’ Mboya and striker Duke Abuya.
Also joining the Premier League new comers is Cavin Odongo from Posta Rangers, Ebrimah Sanneh from Ushuru FC and Massoud Juma from Sony Sugar though the deal for the latter is yet to be finalized.
The coach is confident the blend of young talent and experience will be vital for their campaign.
“We have been in training for three weeks now and the players are getting to understand each other and coming up as a unit. We have gotten a good blend of youth and experience because when you have talent and leadership in a team, you get to build a good team,” Muluya offered.
Monday will bring a wealth of experience to the side and Muluya will see him as an anchor to hold the side together.
“Monday brings in a father figure to the team and if you look at him on and off the pitch, you see a good example for the other young players,” Muluya offered.
Meanwhile, new keeper Mboya said he joined Sharks to give himself a new challenge after spending several years at Mathare.
“It was a decision I had made way before because I needed a new challenge. I had been at Mathare for a long time. It feels good to be here because I have played alongside many of the players here and I also worked with the coach at Mathare,” Mboya said.
“The coaches have assembled a good team and I believe we can do well in the league and at least look to maintain a top eight place,” the experienced custodian added.