‘Omore’ quits Sharks after 19 years
After serving Kariobangi Sharks FC for close to two decades, central defender Eric Juma states that he is happy with his new move despite unfounded claims touching on character.
Juma, who recently signed for FKF Premier league debutants Kenya Police FC states the change of allegiance from Sharks to Police was ostensibly to explore new challenges and get regular playing time.
The soft-spoken defender vehemently refutes claims of throwing a tantrum over financial disagreements with his former employers.
Juma says he had already played his part and wanted to pave the way for young, upcoming players to join the Sharks ranks.
“I believe my shift to Police was not only a bold move but the right one. My team-mates and officials have been very welcoming hence helping me gel in the team. I was warmly welcomed and I cannot thank them enough,” quipped Juma during a training session yesterday at the Kasarani Annex in Nairobi.
After joining Sharks in 2003 when the team was still featuring in the lower leagues, Juma was named the skipper from 2005 until 2017 when they managed to earn a promotion to Kenyan Premier League.
The elevation came as a huge relief to a team that had endured a five-year spell in the National Super League.
Despite helping his side get into the premier league, he would however play in the second leg of 2018 season in their clash against Posta Rangers after going under the knife to treat a tendon injury.
After his return he managed to steer his former side to bagging the shield cup in 2018 thus booking its first ever continental ticket to feature in the CAF Confederation Cup where they exited in the second round after losing 1-2 to Asante Kotoko of Ghana.
In 2019, he was in his true element when he helped the Sharks to lift the Sportpesa Super Cup which was held in Tanzania where they beat Bandari FC.
In retrospect, his most memorable outing was being paraded in the Sharks squad for the historic match against English Premier League side Everton before he sustained a nagging injury.
“I believe my injury was what slowed down my career in the past few years but now that am fully fit I will ensure that I hit the right notes in as far as fitness levels are concerned to help Kenya Police reach ‘the Promised Land,” he told PD Sport.
He added: “Obviously, the league is far from over and I don’t expect things to be any easier but I have this belief that the team possesses the mojo to win a maiden domestic league title and become the country’s emissaries in Africa inter-clubs competitions. All I want is for our fans to rally behind us and the rest shall fall in place.”
Police, one of the surprise packages in the top-flight league, are seemingly leaving nothing to chance in their ambitions after landing big signings during the mini transfer window.
Among their acquisitions are former Mathare United custodian Job Ochieng’, Harambee Stars and KCB’s left back David Owino, attack-oriented midfielder Francis Kahata as well as eccentric goal poacher Elvis Rupia.
Nicknamed Machapo by fans of AFC Leopards, which was his last stop locally, Rupia is considered as a box-to-box striker whose services might come in handy for the John “Bobby” Ogolla-coached side.
Police travel to Wundanyi this weekend where they will take on hosts Sofapaka FC at Dawson Mwanyumba Stadium.
The team has accumulated 21 points following five wins, six draws and five losses so far.