NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 31 –Ugandan left-back Shafik Batambuze says he is ready to replace Godfrey Walusimbi in K’Ogalo’s defense having signed a three-year deal to join the club from Tanzanian side Singida United earlier this month.
Gor were left with a huge void to fill when Walusimbi ditched the club to join South African top tier side Kaizer Chiefs and struggled to replace the long-serving Ugandan, their weakness in that side of defense hugely blamed for their failure to advance to the Confederation Cup quarters.
But now, Batambuze who is expected to slot in straight into the team, says K’Ogalo fans no longer have to worry as he will work hard to seal the slot.
“I believe I can fit into his shoes very well because the two of us play almost the same style of football. It has not been hard for me to integrate into the team because I have played in Kenya before and most of the players I played with and against,” the Ugandan told Capital Sport.
Gor assistant coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno is excited at the arrival of Batambuze who he says will be a huge addition to the team especially as they look to make a statement continentally next season in the CAF Champions League.
“He’s a big addition to the team because after losing Walusimbi we had to do with makeshift players in that position and that really cost us. We had to look for a good full-back and in Batambuze we got the person we wanted. He’s been in Kenya and knows the league and also strong on set pieces and very good in crossing. That’s what you look for when you need a good fullback,” Otieno said.
Batambuze left Tusker FC for Tanzania’s Singida United at the beginning of the year having won a league and cup with Tusker FC. However, he says he has returned to Kenya because of financial issues at Singida.
He previously also featured for Sofapaka and Western Stima which was his first club in the Kenyan Premier League.
“I am happy to come back to Kenya because it’s a very competitive league and the best thing is that I am coming to a different side with a bigger challenge. My target now is to work harder and not only play in another big club in the region but probably Europe as well,” Batambuze further stated.
He added that making the choice to join Gor was a no brainer especially with the allure of playing in the CAF Champions League. His target now is to help K’Ogalo sweep all the titles available and also help them do well in continental football.
“I believe it is possible because we have a very good team and everyone is working hard to achieve the goals,” he added.
The Ugandan is hopeful of being part of Gor Mahia’s contingent that travels to Liverpool, United Kingdom on Friday for the historic friendly match against English premier League side Everton FC next week Tuesday.
Batambuze’s process to acquire a visa has been expedited to enable him travel as Gor currently need a fullback for the huge test.
“I want us to win all available titles with Gor that’s my biggest target, it is possible, a good team and I promise the fans to support the team and I will do my best,” Batambuze vowed.