Football Football

Baraza ready for Sofapaka permanent role

John Baraza is the interim Sofapaka coachPHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13- If owner Elly Kalekwa decides to give him the role permanently, Sofapaka interim coach John Baraza says he is more than willing to take up the challenge, saying he feels he has grown enough to be trusted with the job.

Baraza was handed the interim role last weekend after Ugandan Sam Ssimbwa threw in the towel alleging sabotage from the players, putting to an end a 16-month stint at the club.

“I believe in myself and if Prezda (Kalekwa) comes over and tells me to take charge until the end of the season, I am willing to do that. The best thing is that he has shown confidence in me and he tells me he trusts me. That is enough to give me so much confidence,” Baraza told Capital Sport.

Sofapaka FC players gather after a training session at the Eastleigh High School on January 11, 2017. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULU

The former Harambee Stars forward was in charge of the team in their miraculous escape from relegation in 2016 when they were dwindling in financial trouble and he is confident that he might have some luck again with the league at the end of the year.

Kalekwa speaking previously to Capital Sport said they had confidence in Baraza, noting they will not be in a hurry to bring in a new man.

Baraza will be in charge of the team on Sunday when they take on Sony Sugar at the Ruaraka Complex needing a major lift after back-to-back losses that culminated in the departure of his ex-boss Ssimbwa.

“We need to get rid of that negative rhythm of two consecutive losses because if we are to fight for the title, those are results we can’t afford to have. We need to get back to winning ways especially playing at home and that will help restore our confidence,” Baraza noted.

Sofapaka head coach Sam Ssimbwa (centre) demonstrates a point to assistant coach John Baraza and team manager Willis Waliaula as two players listen in during a training session at teh Eastleigh High School. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

He is excited at the prospect of facing Sony, a side led by another ex-player in Sylvester Wanyama. The two played together at Oserian in the early 2000’s.

“It is very exciting because we had so many good moments together as players and we are good friends. We have taken that journey together and now both of us are coaches. It is such a great feeling to face him on Sunday,” Baraza noted.

Batoto ba Mungu are fourth in the rankings with 16 points, seven shy of leaders Mathare United and Baraza is optimistic they can catch up and rank among the title contenders.