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No small team in Kenya, says Mugiraneza

Rwandese midfielder Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza during Gor Mahia training.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15 – Different from both the Rwandese and Tanzanian leagues which he has featured in before joining Gor Mahia, midfielder Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza has admitted the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) is tougher and no team can be underrated.

Mugiraneza scored in his KPL debut for K’Ogalo over the weekend as they won 3-1 against Kariobangi Sharks but he said it was a tough match despite the fact Sharks are a newly promoted side.

This was his second competitive match for the 15-time champions, having featured in the preceding KPL Super Cup tie against league champions Tusker which they won 1-0.

“I can say that from the two competitive matches I have played plus the various friendly matches, every team in Kenya is tough. There is no small team or big team. In Tanzania there are small teams you can beat seven or eight goals but here you have to give everything in every match to win,” the midfielder told Capital Sport.

He also pointed out his country mates Meddie Kagere, Jacques Tuyisenge and Burundian Karim Nizigiyimana have played a huge role in helping him settle down.

“The first match against Tusker FC was tough for me but I have managed to settle and I played well against Thika because of the help my fellow Rwandese have given me explaining what is needed in each game and what to expect,” the Amavubi skipper said.

Gor Mahia coach Jose Marcelo ferreira watches from the touchline during a past Kenyan Premier League match. He took responsibility for his side’s 0-0 draw with Sofapaka on Sunday September 25 2016. PHOTO/TIMOTHY OLOBULU

Gor head coach Jose Marcelo Ferreira ‘Ze Maria’ hailed the Rwandese’s influence in the team adding his utility of either playing as a deep lying or offensive midfielder has given him more freedom to play different formations.

“He is one of the players we need because of his quality and the options he gives us. He is a hard working player and I am happy he is with us,” Ze Maria said of the lanky midfield workhorse who was the first new players to be brought on board at the club from Tanzanian side Azam FC.

Mugiraneza further added his delight at scoring on his Premier League debut and believes it is a good start as he seeks to help K’Ogalo reclaim the league title they lost to Tusker last season.

“We have good players and the last one month I have been training here, I have seen all players have the ability and we can be champions this year. We started well and slowly we will get used to each other and become better,” the midfielder added.

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Gor Mahia’s next assignment will be at home to Zoo Kericho, another newly promoted side with the match set for the Moi Stadium in Kisumu.

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