NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 7 – Former Chemelil Sugar, KCB and Thika United tactician Juma Abdallah dreams of a return to top flight football and is confident that his current employers, FC Talanta have what it takes to take him back to the Kenyan Premier League.
Talanta are placed fourth in the National Super League standings with 35 points, three behind third placed Wazito and six behind leaders Ushuru FC.
“I really believe and I am confident that we will earn promotion. I am upbeat about this and from the beginning I have told my boys that our first match next season will be up against a Premier League team. We believe that and we are working very hard to achieve that,” Juma noted.
He added; “If you look at how we are playing and the belief the players have, I am convinced that we can actually dream of it and achieve it.”
Last Monday’s massive 3-1 win over Wazito was testament enough that the side can vie for one of the three available promotion slots, two of them being automatic.
He now hopes that his side can keep the same form and improve over their next few games.
“I have a very good team of young and ambitious players, but we have only one problem; striking. If we can get one or two very good strikers then I believe we will compete to be even the top. I have so far found one from Modern Coast and I am looking for another to have varied options,” Juma noted.
“We have a good defense line, a good midfield but upfront is where the real challenge is. We need to click in that end and I believe we will be a force to reckon in this league,” Abdallah further stated.
Talanta will face Shabana FC in their next assignment at the Camp Toyoyo Ground on Friday, a tie that Juma says will be tough.
“Shabana is a very tough team and they are also seeking to get promotion. We will make a few changes to the team to give some of the players playing time and also one of the new players,” the tactician stated.
Meanwhile, leaders Ushuru FC will take on eighth placed Kenya Police in the early kick off, the taxmen looking to keep their three-point lead at the top intact.
Two times in a row, Ushuru have finished third in the standings to compete in the play-off, failing in both occasions. However, this time, head coach Ken Kenyatta says he does not want to take the play-off lottery, but get automatic promotion.
“This is a thing we want to avoid and from when the season started, our target has always been to get automatic promotion. I am glad that we have started the season well and I hope we can maintain it to the end. We have a good team and we can get that automatic slot,” Kenyatta stated.
“But we are playing in a very tough and competitive league so we need to take each game at a time, a step a day,” he added.
Ushuru carry with them an enviable run of three wins on the trot and Kenyatta says their confidence has been hugely boosted by the run including Monday’s 3-0 victory against Kangemi All Stars.
Elsewhere, Wazito FC who have lost back to back matches and sacked their coach Mohammed Mchulla will look for redemption when they travel away to Nakuru to face St. Joseph.
Wazito are tied on points with second placed Nairobi Stima but have an inferior goal difference. Stima will be at home in Naivasha taking on Eldoret Youth.
Round 19 Fixtures
Ushuru vs Kenya Police (Camp Toyoyo, 11 am)
Nairobi City Stars vs Kibera Black Stars (Camp Toyoyo, 2 pm)
FC Talanta vs Shabana (Camp Toyoyo, 4.15 pm)
St Joseph Youth vs Wazito (Afraha Stadium, 3 pm)
Nairobi Stima vs Eldoret Youth (Karuturi Grounds, 3 pm)
Modern Coast Rangers vs Fortune Sacco (Serani Sports Ground, 3 pm)
Coast Stima vs Green Commandos (Mbaraki Sports Club, 3 pm)
Kisumu All Stars vs Thika United (Moi Stadium Kisumu, 3 pm)
Bidco United vs Administration Police (Thika Stadium, 3 pm)
Kangemi All Stars vs Migori Youth (Camp Toyoyo, 3 pm)