Football Football

AFC couldn’t match Sofapaka deal – Aswani

Sofapaka FC striker Kepha Aswani challenges Elli Asieche for the ball during a training session at te Eastleigh High School on January 11, 2017. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULU

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 12 – Kepha Aswani has disclosed that he turned down a move back to his former employers AFC Leopards after Sofapaka tabled a higher bid and with a more ambitious plan which Ingwe couldn’t match.

Aswani, who played for Nakumatt last season, had been touted for a return to Ingwe, having hit 13 goals to finish the season as the league’s third best scorer, but he has revealed that a personal call from Sofapaka owner Elly Kalekwa changed his mind.

“Yeah it’s true I went to their (AFC Leopards) offices and we talked about the move, but we couldn’t agree on my personal terms. Football at my age is about the money because I don’t want you to meet me begging on the streets tomorrow,” Aswani revealed to Capital Sport.

Sofapaka FC striker Kepha Aswani during a training session at te Eastleigh High School on January 11, 2017. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULU

“Sofapaka came in with a better offer and the president himself called me and told me of the plans for the club and I didn’t think twice,” Aswani added.

AFC, the 13-time Kenyan Premier League champions were confident of netting the services of the goal-poacher, but unknown to them, Batoto ba Mungu flew in with the moneybags and convinced their man to switch directions.

Aswani says he does not regret making the pick.

“It’s a very positive move because there are so many experienced players here. The training has been fantastic and the positivity for titles is amazing,” the former Thika United man said.

Sofapaka FC new signings Kepha Aswani and Ibrahim Kitawi during a training session at te Eastleigh High School on January 11, 2017. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULU

Aswani now hopes he can continue banging in the goals for his new employers, having placed a first leg target of scoring 10 and vying for the Golden Boot in the second leg. The forward also targets winning the league with Batoto ba Mungu.

He was part of the Mathare United team that won the league in 2008, but he featured sparingly, making six appearances all coming on as a substitute.

“Since the first day I came here, everyone is talking about winning the title and personally it is my target as well. The coach has assembled a very good team and I am confident if we do things right, we will be champions at the end of the season,” Aswani further opined.

-Saleh hopes to re-ignite career-

Jackson Saleh prepares to make a pass during a training session with his new club Sofapaka FC at a training session at the Eastleigh High School on January 11, 2017. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULU

Meanwhile, Jackson Saleh hopes he can re-ignite his form after struggling to perform over the last two seasons. At the height of his form, the defender moved to Gor Mahia from AFC Leopards but could not find regular football.

He moved to his former club Western Stima last season but he still couldn’t get back to the top. He hopes the move to Sofapaka can bring him back on top.

“It has been a tough two years but I am pleased to get this opportunity. It is a top club and therefore I have to perform. My first target is to break into the first 11. I know it is not easy because there are very good players ahead of me,” Saleh added.

He has also targeted to get back to the national team.