Football Football

Sharks ready to hunt in continental waters

Kariobangi Sharks head coach William Muluya watches from the touchline during his side’s Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Shield final against Sofapaka at the Kasarani Stadium on October 20, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 23 – Kariobangi Sharks head coach William Muluya says his team is ready for the challenge of playing in the CAF Confederation Cup next season having earned the ticket following their conquest in the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Shield last Sunday.

Sharks produced a special comeback to come from a goal down with eight minutes left and beat three-time champions Sofapaka 3-2 at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani.

“If we were not ready for it, we would have lost the final. We should take up the challenge and I am certain we are up to it. It is not a threat for us and I believe we will be up to it,” the tactician told Capital Sport.

He added the team will not make many changes, saying he believes in the youthful squad that has been improving over the last three years and winning a major title in only their second year in top flight football.

“I do believe in the team so much and I believe in their work and what they are giving. I believe in the support we have, so far and so we will not be making many changes. It is just few areas that we need to improve on but we won’t shake up most elements we have been having,” the tactician further stated.

Kariobangi Sharks players celebrate after winning the 2018 Football Kenya Federation Shield at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on October 20. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Muluya has further underlined the Shield success is a fruit of patience and work put into developing the team over the years, dedicating the title to the players who have been with the team since their days in the National Super League.

“You look at the progressive nature of the work that has been put in place and you understand the success. It is not me alone who is excited at this but the players as well especially those who have been with the team for so long. It’s an accolade they can look at and be proud of,” the tactician said.

Sharks, formed 18 years ago made it into the semi-finals of their first ever Shield participation in 2016, losing 4-1 to Ulinzi Stars in Nakuru. They made an improvement last year reaching the final losing 2-0 to AFC Leopards.

This year, they have gone the full length and among their big wins was a 4-1 revenge exerted on Ulinzi in the semis before going on to win 3-2 against Sofapaka in the final.

Looking back at the final against Sofapaka, Muluya has praised the team for having the attitude to come from a goal down and win the game in the final eight minutes which also included withstanding an 88th minute penalty missed by Kevin Kimani.

Kariobangi Sharks skipper Eric Juma celebrates the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Shield final win against Sofapaka with fans at the Kasarani Stadium on October 20, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

“I am satisfied with how we performed. As long as we won, anything is okay. The composure was so high and we were so calm. We lost head a bit when we went 2-1 down and we opened up like two more chances for Sofapaka. But the work the attackers put in in the final minutes gave the team victory,” further stated the tactician.

Sharks will have little time to rest as the Confederation Cup begins on November 27 and will also be lined up to play the season opening Charity Cup against league champions Gor Mahia.

The league starts for them on December 8 when they take on AFC Leopards in Machakos.