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We signed names instead of positions, Ssimbwa laments

Sofapaka coach Sam Ssimbwa reacts during their KPL match against Mathare United. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 27- With just three games into the new season, Sofapaka tactician Sam Ssimbwa has already made a damning assessment on his side, saying they are not good enough to compete for the Kenyan Premier League title.

Sofapaka has won only one match, a nervy 1-0 victory away to Kakamega Homeboyz and lost against Bandari (3-0) and Mathare United (3-1). After the three matches, Ssimbwa is not convinced that his team can compete for the ultimate prize.

“Gauging from these two losses, I think we are not good enough to compete for the trophy. We can play like participants but not good enough to challenge for the trophy,” Ssimbwa said after his side’s 3-1 loss at the hands of Mathare United on Sunday.

Sofapaka goalkeeper Mathias Kigonya with team-mate Humprey Okoti during their KPL match against Mathare United. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

The Ugandan tactician was disappointed with the performance of his charges especially in the manner they conceded the first and second goals, saying they were gifts to their opponents.

And now, the tactician who rejoined Batoto ba Mungu at the beginning of last season does not believe that with the current trend which sees them drop seven points behind the leaders they can challenge for their second league diadem.

“If you are competing, you take each game like a final. But if you look at the two games we have lost, are we playing like a final? If we go on like that we shall be participants and not be relegated but can’t fight for anything. Three games with three points and you think you will compete?” posed the tactician.

He added; “We are competing with the likes of Gor Mahia, but if you look at them, they already have nine points from three games.”

-Rift in the team-

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

Meanwhile, the tactician has hinted a possible rift with the team’s management in terms of signing and releasing of players, insinuating that he might not have been consulted when new players were brought into the squad.

He was particularly critical of the release of defender Jonathan ‘Dante’ Mugabi and midfielder Feni Ali, saying they were two of the club’s best players last season and didn’t understand why they were released.

Batoto ba Mungu were busy in the transfer window and brought in high profile names including strikers Stephen Waruru and Kepha Aswani as well as Burundian defender Mousa Omar.

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They had been touted to bring in Zanzibar midfielder Abdul Aziz Makame but the deal fell flat on its belly on the final day of the transfer window.

Sofapaka head coach Sam Ssimbwa strolls around during a past training session at the club’s Eastleigh High School training ground. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“You don’t sign names, you sign position. Did we want strikers only? Feni, our best midfielder who scored six goals and had nine assists in the second leg alone went.  Our best defender Dante went. Who were the replacements?” the coach posed, refusing to comment on whether or not he had been involved in the club’s transfer activity.

Ssimbwa however remains hopeful that his relatively new squad will grease up as the season progresses, though he remains pessimistic they will stand a chance of fighting for the league crown.

“Maybe we shall improve with time but by then the title contenders will have left us. We shall play, the trophy might be difficult for us,” he said.

The 2009 league champions will have little time to rest as they will immediately switch their attention to a catch-up fixture against AFC Leopards on Wednesday at the Narok Stadium, same venue they suffered an embarrassing 3-0 loss at the hands of Bandari.

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