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Shape up or ship out

By Webster Nyandika
Monday, April 19th, 2021 00:00 | 2 mins read
Sofapaka president Elly Kalekwa (left) greets players during a past club luncheon. Photo/PD/EDWIN OTIENO

Sofapaka president Elly Kalekwa plans to introduce performance contract in the club as a measure of gaining more output  from the players after a run of poor results.

Sofapaka was one of the busiest teams during the last two transfer windows, signing 11 key players in the October/November window and nine players a few months later, yet they still find themselves occupying an awkward 11th position by mid season, trailing league leaders Tusker by a massive 18 points.

“I’m going to introduce performance contracts and make all my players sign it, so that they realize that there is something at stake.

If we don’t introduce this, a player may just be comfortable like former Arsenal player Mesut Ozil, earning a lot of money whether the team loses, draws or wins or whether he plays or not, he is guaranteed of a pay at the end of the month,” Kalekwa told People Sport.

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He added: “It is high time some of these players walked the talk. Otherwise there will be no meaning of spending a fortune in signing renowned players who cannot yield results.”

Sofapaka who were the pioneers of professional club contracts in 2009 when they won the league in their first attempt, are believed to have spent around Sh10 million in the October transfer window with two key players costing Sh2.8 million and Sh 2.5 million respectively, the highest signing fee locally ever.

“ I remember the previous crop of players like Bob Mugalia, Patrick Kagogo, John Baraza, Musa Mudde, James Situma, Hillary Echesa and Idrissa.

They were giving all their heart and soul to the team, apart from skills, they were very hard working and you could see the urge they had for winning matches in their faces. That is what the current players should emulate,” Kalekwa.

He added: “It is very painful to be losing matches to teams that have made like a single recruitment or one that has not made any at all, yet we have some players regarded as the best in the league.

We now have to get value for money, we can’t be spending more than Sh 4 million per month on salary and lose to a team that spends less than Sh 2 million a month on salaries.”

Sofapaka who on Wednesday unveiled former Harambee Starlets head coach David Ouma as their Sports Director cum Assistant Coach, where meant to meet Wazito in their next league match, before the league action was suspended.