Nzoia Sugar boss lays down marker, eyes return to Africa

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Tuesday, September 10th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Nzoia Sugar FC line up during their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on August 31. [Stafford Ondego/]

Nzoia Sugar Company Managing Director Michael Wanjala Makokha has assured Nzoia Sugar FC of the company’s support as the ambitious club aims to return to the continental scene.

The millers, who made a return to the Kenyan Premier League in 2017 six years after its revival, represented the country at the 2003 Champions League following the withdrawal of the 2002 domestic league winners Oserian Fastac.

Nzoia beat Red Sea of Eritrea 4-3 on post-match penalties in the preliminary round before suffering a 7-1 demolition on aggregate to Egyptian giants Zamalek.

However, since their return to the topflight football, the Bungoma-based has endured financial problems leading to the massive exodus of their key players led by Elvis Rupia, Lawrence Juma, Boniface Muchiri and Boniface Omondi among others.

And after finishing four places above the relegation zone last season, the management has vowed to support the team and help it restore its lost glory. Nzoia started their 2019/2020 campaign with a 1-1 draw against big-spenders Wazito in Machakos last month.

“We are determined as the management together with the team leadership to ensure the team do well in the league this season,” Makokha told Standard Sports.

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“Let me emphasise that support for a team comes in different forms, but my presence in the opening match of the season signifies that at the very top level of the Nzoia Sugar Company leadership we are committed and determined to walk with the team.

“The club has presented a chance to many players to grow and play at both national and international levels. For your information, at least each club in the KPL have a Nzoia product.”

Despite losing a number of their dependable players in the recent past, Makokha insists Nzoia is still a force to reckon with in the country as they seek for more sponsorship.

“The result against Wazito indicates that Nzoia is still a force to reckon with.  This has re-energised team and is even better than the Nzoia of yesteryears. We’ve given these players resources and we are expecting returns from them. Our draw against Wazito is evident that the results have started coming in. So, I’ve dedicated myself and we intend to fully support the team as we aim to return to the continental scene,” he said.

“I’ve quite a number of friends from the corporate world who are willing to walk with us in this journey. It’s my responsibility to look for resources and ensure the team is financially stable. So, I’ve no doubt they will soon come on board.”

Nzoia take on Sony Sugar in their next match on Saturday at Sudi Stadium.

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