Sofapaka Angolan coach Divaldo Alves has made a clarion call to his charges to live up to their billing as the team opens its 2019/2020 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) campaign against Posta Rangers at Narok Stadium this afternoon.
Alves, who replaced Melis Medo as head coach, was officially unveiled alongside 11 other players at Eastleigh High School yesterday. He described Batoto Ba Mungu as an all-round stable side with exceptional skills in all departments, adding that the team has absolutely no reason for not recapturing the title they last won in 2009.
“It’s high time Sofapaka showed what stuff they are made of since they boast of depth and quality. Obviously, it is going to be serious business and I want the players to do their best and most importantly live up to the high pedigree I associate them with,” said Alves yesterday during the function.
He urged the club’s faithful not to read too much in the results of the pre-season friendlies, saying he was merely using them to gauge fitness levels of his players, especially the new ones.
In the friendlies, Sofapaka won and drew against Naivas, drew 1-1 with Ushuru and lost 2-0 to Tusker. The new acquisitions are Allan Katwe, Brian Nyakan, Cercidy Lumumba, Derick Wafula, Togolese Djehani N’Guissan, Timonah Wanyonyi, Juma Sudi, Malunda Musa, Philip Muchuma and Muhammed Kasirye and Peter Lwasa, both Ugandans. As Sofapaka stalk Stima in the potential banana skin encounter, they will be hoping to exorcise the ghosts of the 2018 season when they lost seven consecutive matches in the first leg.
The team also starts life without the utility duo of Dennis Odhiambo and Stephen Waruru who have joined KCB as well as Rwandese defender Soter Kayumba who has signed for AFC Leopards.
In the other fixture of the day, Chemelil Sugar have their work cut out against hosts Zoo Kericho at Kericho Green Stadium.
Chemelil have not made any major signings and it remains to be seen how they will conduct themselves against Zoo who are pretty hard to conquer at home. On Saturday, Gor Mahia, joyous after reaching the first round of the Africa Champions League at the expense of Burundi’s Aigle Noir, welcome Tusker at Moi Stadium in Kisumu.
Gor coach Steven Polack has conjured two victories with the team since replacing Hassan Oktay and success against Tusker will further endear him to K’ogalo fans.