NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 19 – William Muluya will be leading his Kariobangi Sharks side to their second consecutive Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Shield final when they take on three-time champions Sofapaka at the Moi Sports Centre on Mashujaa Day.
They played in their first ever final last year but lost 2-0 to an experienced AFC Leopards side, coming just a year after they finished third.
Muluya, chasing a piece of history on his collar as the man to lead Sharks to their first ever major title wants nothing short but the Shield on Saturday.
“The first time we were number three, last year we were number two and this year, the only place to go is number one. We have one choice and I think that is only winning the trophy,” the tactician said as he looks forward to the 3pm kick off at the lush green Kasarani Stadium.
Sharks have had a relatively similar season to last year, but the hunger to cap it off with a trophy has been hugely evident and their 4-1 thrashing of Ulinzi Stars in the semis sent a huge statement that they are not just about to come in and enjoy being in the final.
Muluya who began learning his coaching ropes at Mathare United and was the side’s team manager before moving to Sharks while they were still in the National Super League is keen to ensure he becomes the first coach to aid the side to a title.
Looking at the team’s training sessions this week, the tactician is more than convinced they have gathered enough momentum to win and is confident his team will deliver.
“Morale is very high and the boys are eager to play and win the final. The energy is very positive and sometimes when you can transform that energy to the match, it becomes easy,” Muluya noted.
He says the team has matured better compared to last year and they are now a more improved team and they will definitely play better football against the three-time champions.
History will favor Sharks as they have never lost against Sofapaka in their last six meetings including last year’s Shield Quarter Final which they won 3-1 at the Nyayo National Stadium.
Muluya hopes history will favor them and continue their dominance against Batoto ba Mungu. They have won three of those six meetings and drawn the other three scoring four goals and conceding only once.
“Sometimes history and the culture tells it all. Hstory favors us but we need to respect them (Sofapaka) because they are a good side with experienced players and a very good coach. I think whoever makes less mistakes will win the match and I know we will not have any room for mistakes,” the 32-year old tactician further stated.
Muluya will have no fresh injury worries with the only absentees being goalkeeper John Oyemba and midfielder Sven Yidah who have both been long term absentees. Both though have started on-field rehabilitation.