NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 19 – Stephen Waruru will be playing his second Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Shield final on Saturday when he leads out his Sofapaka side against last year’s losing finalists Kariobangi Sharks at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani.
The pint-sized forward featured for Ulinzi Stars at the 2016 final where they ended up losing by a solitary goal against Tusker FC and looking forward to Saturday, Waruru wants to make amends for the missed chances.
“It feels good to get another chance because it is rare to have two chances with one thing. When it comes to the final, I will give my best to ensure that we win because personally, I will have achieved a lot. It is still the only title that I don’t have,” Waruru who won the league title with Ulinzi in 2010 noted.
The striker joined Batoto ba Mungu at the start of the 2018 season after leaving Ulinzi following nine-years of service to the military side and he wants to ensure he marks his maiden season with a trophy at the end of the match.
Having missed out on the Kenyan Premier League crown with a fifth place finish, this, according to Waruru is the club’s huge opportunity to claim a trophy, ending a drought that stretches back to 2014.
“We have prepared very well for this game and the team spirit is up. We have to give our best to ensure that we get this title. Teamwork wins you games and that is one thing we need to do very well. We have to trust each other and play with belief,” further stated the striker.
The same sentiments are shared by midfielder Dennis Odhiambo who hopes to translate his form from the national team to club level and earn his first ever trophy on Kenyan soil.
“The national team is a bit different from club level. In my opinion I think club football is hard because the players know each other very well and it is easier to plan against each other. But as a team we are ready for the game and we want to win,” the defender noted.
He added; “As a team, our target has always been to finish the season with a trophy. The KPL title was not successful and now we have a last chance. We have to give our best.”
Batoto ba Mungu will be pushed by the allure of playing in next season’s CAF Confederations Cup and seek to emulate Gor Mahia who went all the way to the group stages this year and ended up picking a Sh27mn prize purse.
“It is a huge motivation to know that we will play in continental football and that is a trigger for all the players. Everyone wants to play against the biggest clubs in the continent and compete with teams from outside the country,” skipper Waruru noted.
Winning the title comes with a Sh2mn cash reward but club owner Elly Kalekwa has promised the team a further Sh1mn while sponors Betika have also landed a promise to reward the efforts with another Sh1mn.