Barry Silah and Viden Ochieng
Sportpesa Premier League side Sofapaka FC has rung a number of changes in their playing unit, just two days into the transfer window, with an aim of winning the title they won in 2009 on their first attempt.
Speaking to Wikendi Sports while in Uganda where he went to seal the deals of two strikers, Sofapaka coach Sam Ssimbwa said he had completed the signing of four local players and two highly rated Ugandans to help bolster the squad ahead of the penultimate stage.
After blaming the team for wasting glut of chances during their previous matches, Ssimbwa has acquired the services of three strikers in the name of Uganda Cranes striker Kasumba Umaru from Sports Club Villa who was the top scorer in the Ugandan league in 2015, Feni Ali from Uganda Revenue Authority, veteran Chemelil captain Hillary Echesa and international striker Kennedy ‘Agogo’ Otieno from Western Stima.
Other players to have joined the former champions include Burundi international midfielder Tonton Hazikimana from Athletico Olympic Burundi, defender Wesley Onguso from Western Stima, Willis Ouma from Chemelil and Morven Otinya from National Super League side Palos.
“I believe we have now filled the holes we had in the team and I am sure we will cause problems for our opponents in the remaining matches. I personally recommended the signatures of the two Ugandans because I have been monitoring their progress for a while.
Our focus is to improve when the break is over and truly we shall be well prepared for it,” said Ssimbwa. Sofapaka who are currently placed sixth on the log with 20 points from 13 matches meet 13-time league champions Gor Mahia in their next fixture, slated for June 18, at the Narok Stadium. All their signings will be eligible to play in the match.
The signings have come at a cost as two foreigners in the team, James Kasimbante and Petit Wanok have been released already released to pave way for the new recruits as per the KPL rules on international signings.
Simbwa said they planned a number of build-up matches to help the players gel before they face title rivals Gor Mahia. The team that has been on a week-long break, resumes training on Tuesday at the Eastleigh High School grounds.
“When we look at the table, perceptions are already made that two sides are in the favourites. That narrative suits us because it will make us strike when unexpected. Sofapaka is capable of pulling surprises and we are warning our opponents to be on the lookout since now we are stronger,” Ssimbwa said.