Premier League teams take pre-season preparation notch higher

Tuesday, November 8th, 2022 04:30 | By
Sofapaka players training at Eastleigh High School yesterday.PHOTO/PD/ EDWIN OTIENO

With Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba having reinstated Football Kenya Federation (FKF), the resumption of the sport in the country beckons amidst enthusiasm by a section of Kenyan Premier League coaches towards the 2022/2023 season.

Former international John Baraza who has been appointed the Head Coach of Kakamega Homeboy to replace Edward Manoah, said he cannot wait for the start of the season.

“I feel honored to guide a team which wound up in second position last season. If you may ask me, I would say I believe we can get the results that we want. It all boils down to hard work by the players,” said Baraza who joined the green and yellow ensemble from National Premier League (NSL) side Mara Sugar.

Baraza replaced Edward Manoah as Homeboyz trainer and avers that his vast experience will help pep up the team which lost the league diadem to Tusker last season by the narrowest of margins.

“I have had stints with Sofapaka, Equity Bank and Mara and I think I’m knowledgeable enough to guide Homeboyz to victory but let’s cross the bridge when we reach there,’’ said Baraza after conducting the team’s work outs at Bukhungu Stadium.

Baraza who steered Equity Bank to the semifinals of the Betways Cup last year hinted that he has identified two to three players to help bolster the team.

“I don’t want to preempt who shall be joining the team but believe me they are quality players who should add steel in the unit,” he said.

In the meantime, Homeboyz combative midfielder Michael Isabwa noted that it is so far so good after the arrival of Baraza in the team.

At Eastleigh high School, coach David Ouma took Sofapaka players to their paces in anticipation of league action soon.

Ouma said he had closed the doors on players transfers until the February window and noted that he wanted to concentrate on the 30 players he had.

Elsewhere, Tusker coach said it was commendable for Namwamaba to give an assurance that football activities would resume and urged the CS to ensure that it has fruitful discussion to ensure that the indefinite ban slapped on the country is lifted.

“Players as the biggest shareholders in the game have suffered since they eke out a living from the sport.

Let sobriety prevail in convincing Fifa to welcome Kenya back in its family,” said Matano.

He further said that he has not set a bench-mark for a league that has yet to begin.

“We are just training to keep fit in anticipation of the league and have set no targets. Let’s just wait and see what happens in regards to the impending kick-off,” he said.

Bidco United head coach Anthony AKhulia is confident that his side can crack a top five finish in the season.

Akhulia said he is impressed with how his team is fairing and building up in pre-season so far and notes that he has the assurance the players can carry forth his ambition.

“I think we can finish in the top five. We have a very good team and if we can work on a few areas of improvement, I believe we will achieve that. We are not 100pc there, but I believe we will get there by the time the season starts,” offered Akhulia.

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