It’s now official. Sportpesa Premier League (SPL) side Nakumatt’s scoring sensation Kepha Aswani has joined Sofapaka ahead of the 2018 season. Aswan now becomes the second high-profile player in the SPL to join Batoto Ba Mungu’s ranks after the club acquired the services of former Ulinzi Stars striker Stephen “Stevo” Waruru two weeks ago.
The signing of Aswani, who plundered 13 goals for Nakumatt in the 2017 KPL, has already elicited joy and enthusiasm amongst the Sofapaka faithful who are only too eager to see the team reclaim the league title they last won in 2009.
Former league top scorer Waruru was also unveiled on Saturday after he completed his move a week ago. In the meantime, Nakumatt Secretary General Albert Wesonga has described Aswani’s departure as a big loss to the super market side that made its maiden appearance in the KPL in 2017.
“He (Aswani) was a vital cog in Nakumatt’s attacking line and we will dearly miss him. I wish him well at his new club,” said Wesonga who is on Christmas and New Year vacation at his rural home.
Aswani has had an illustrious football and has previously turned out for Al Nasr Salalah of Oman, Thika United and AFC Leopards. Meanwhile, today, marks the big day for Sofapaka Head Coach Sam Ssimbwa and the team’s first choice glove-man Mathias Kigonya as they line up to be honoured in the Sports Journalists of Kenya (SJAK) Awards gala at the National Museums of Kenya.
The event was originally planned for Jacaranda Hotel in Westlands before being switched to Museum. Ssimbwa and his fellow Ugandan countryman Kasumba were nominated to vie for the best coach and goalkeeper categories respectively by SJAK due their stellar performance in the recently concluded season.
However, the two will be named as nominees in absentia during the 7pm gala as they are in Kampala, Uganda, for the Christmas and New Year’s festivities. Ssimbwa and Kigonya are expected back in Kenya in January ahead of the 2018 KPL which kicks off early February.
Speaking in Kampala, Ssimbwa said he is elated at being recognized as among the best coaches in Kenya’s top-tier league. “I’m not surprised by the acknowledgement by SJAK as one of the most productive coaches in the KPL.
Honestly, I have been working extremely hard to make Sofapaka a force to reckon with in the KPL and if I will be selected the best tactician, it will be because of the selfless service I have offered to Sofapaka,”said Ssimbwa.
As for now, Ssimbwa has his work cut out as he will fight it out for the awards with four other KPL coaches including Bernard Mwalala (Nzoia Sugar), Sammy “Pamzo”Omollo (Posta Rangers) and Mike Mururi (Kakamega Homeboyz). Speaking separately, Kigonya paid tribute to SJAK for the life-time opportunity of being declared the best shot-stopper in KPL.
“Of course, such recognition does not come on a silver platter. You must work hard for it an I believe this is what I have been doing all along at Sofapaka. If I get the award, it will be an ideal Christmas gift for me and my family, ”said Kigonya.
The disciplined Ugandan goalkeeper will fight it out with Boniface Okluoch (Gor Mahia), Jeff Oyemba (Kariobangi Sharks) and Patrick Matasi (Posta Rangers) for the top perfoming goalkeepers gong. South Korean manufactures LG Electronics will take a central role in the awards as the title sponsors.