Tusker coach Robert Matano has opted to play his cards close to his chest ahead of the 2018/19 SportPesa Premier League (SPL) season which kicks off on December 8.
True to his character, Matano, who is fondly referred to as the ‘Lion’ in Kenyan football circles, told fans to wait and see just what will come out of the brewers in the upcoming season.
“I don’t want to pre-empt what we will do and all I want to say is that Tusker fans should wait and see the output of the team,” said Matano while downplaying the popular observation that the brewers are among favourites to win the title.
“Gor Mahia are the favourites considering they are not only multiple champions but also the holders. I think the signing of new players in our squad is a positive development for us moving forward,” he said.
But while Matano would want to wish away Tusker’s title prospects, the signings they have made point to a team with serious ambitions.
The new acquisitions include former Sofapaka Ugandan import Rogers Aloro, striker George-Bill Oporia from National Super League side Ushuru, forward Mike Madoya who was formerly playing for Zoo Kericho and ex-Rwanda Police goalkeeper Emery Emvuyekune.
Madoya, the SPL 2017 Most Valuable Player (MVP), did prove that he is an asset in the making for Tusker when he scored a brace to help steer the team to a 2-0 win over Silver Strikers of Malawi in a friendly match last Thursday.
“I saw something positive among some of the new players but they are not up there yet and should keep on working hard to achieve the performance I need,” said Matano.
Madoya, who scored 14 goals for Zoo last season, said joining Tusker is a dawn of a new era for him and he is determined to help his new side rediscover its prowess.
“If I get the right combination upfront, then I will score more than 20 goals,” he said.
Tusker, the third most successful team in Kenya with 11 titles (behind Gor’s 17 and AFC Leopards’ 13) failed to live up to expectations last season by winding up in third position behind Bandari and Gor Mahia.