Teams grab chance to make new signings

By Washington Onyango: Tuesday, January 7th 2020 at 05:50 GMT +3 | Football
Mathare FC's Goalkeeper Job Ochieng' during KPL match against Nzoia FC at Kasarani stadium on Sunday Dec 29, 2019. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The Kenya Premier League (KPL) second leg resumed with teams strengthening their squads as they scratched their heads on how to deal with Gor Mahia’s dominance.

K’Ogalo are league leaders with 32 points, one more than second-placed Tusker.

Sofapaka are the biggest spenders after recruiting 11 players, investing in both experience and youth as they seek to win the league title for the first time since 2009.

The John Baraza-coached side brought in four foreigners including goalkeeper Nicholas Sebwato from Bright Stars Soccer Academy in Uganda, defensive midfielder Noukeu Joel from Lion Blesse Fc in Cameroon and Ghanian striking duo of Jedinak Ameyaw Nana and George Owusu, both from Channis Soccer Academy.

Others include David Simiyu (Chemelil), Collins Wakhungu, Thomas Wainaina (Nzoia Sugar), Daniel Oloo, Wisdom Naya (Unattached) defenders Stephen Otieno and Brian Wetende.

Baraza believes his new recruits will strengthen the team despite failing to beat 10-man Kariobangi Sharks over the weekend.

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“It’s too early to judge because most of the foreign players are yet to adapt to the local league but I believe we will see their impact soon,” he said.

Wazito, who invested heavily at the start of the season, maintained their spending prowess by raiding AFC Leopards and KCB to sign four players after releasing six.

Whyvonne Isuza and Dennis Sikhayi joined from Leopards while Kennedy ‘Daddy’ Owino and Dennis Ng’ang’a arrived from KCB.

Wazito parted ways with six players as they continue to restructure. They go off Karim Nizigiyimana, Abouba Sibomana, Gad Mathews, Tayo Odongo, Mansoor Safi and John Mutua.

Wazito’s Chief Executive Dennis Gicheru believes the restructuring can help the club turn around the misfortunes that saw them lose their last three matches including the latest 1-0 loss to K’Ogalo over the weekend.

“We wanted players who could improve our weak areas. We had identified areas that needed to be beefed up and we went for players who we believe will make us stronger,” said Gicheru.

“The three are quality players and we are happy to have them on board. They definitely make us stronger than we were before.”

Karibangi Sharks have made one signing so far in the ongoing transfer window. Former Dagoretti High School captain Boniface Mwangemi, who made his debut in the weekends’ 2-2 draw against Sofapaka, is the lucky player.

Western Stima have also brought in Kevin Omundo from the relegated Sony Sugar as Kisumu All-Stars midfielder Calvin Wekesa decamped to Betika Super League side Ushuru.

AFC Leopards have lost four players so far but chairman Dan Shikanda remains optimistic of improving in the league.

Ingwe has also lost head coach Casa Mbungo as well as players Tresor Ndikumana, Ismailia Diarra, Vincent Habamahoro and Soter Kayumba after they all terminated their contracts.

“We are working on sorting out our financial crisis by the end of this month and we urge our players to be calm. We wish the departed players luck but we will replace them with some of our youngsters,” Shikanda said.

Meanwhile, Kisumu All Stars have sacked head coach coach Henry Omino following streak of poor results that have left the club fighting for survival.

They have lost 11 times in 15 rounds of matches.

 

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