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Gor host Nakumatt as league kicks off: Teams chase K’Ogalo’s crown in what is expected to be tough season

FOOTBALL By Rodgers Eshitemi | February 3rd 2018 | 2 min read
Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr celebrates a goal with his players during the Super cup match against AFC Leopards played at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on January 28,2018.Gor won 1-0.Photo:Kipsang Joseph/Standard

New boys Wazito welcome Sony Sugar as Leopards face Rangers at Afraha.

Finally, the Kenyan Premier League is back. The 2018 season kicks off this weekend with nine matches on the card across the country.

Fancied Gor Mahia will attempt to retain the title after a successful season last year under Briton Dylan Kerr,  in what promises to be a very competitive and entertaining campaign.

The defending champions welcome Nakumatt at their alternative home ground in Machakos today as AFC Leopards battle with Posta Rangers in the first double-header match of the year at Afraha Stadium.

The 4.15pm encounter in Nakuru will be preceded by an early kick off match between Zoo Kericho and Ulinzi Stars.

Newly-promoted Wazito host Sony Sugar in their first top-flight match at Camp Toyoyo as new Tusker coach Sam Timbe hopes for a winning start when the brewers travel to Chemelil Sugar.

Although the season opener presents a perfect opportunity for Kerr to gauge his players ahead of their preliminary round CAF Champions League first leg home match against Leones Vegetarianos of Equatorial Guinea next Friday, the Briton has warned his players to be ready for a difficult campaign.

“This is going to be one of the toughest seasons ever for us. You know we are the champions and also playing in the Champions League, so we expect everyone to come strong at us. We have so many adversaries,” Kerr told The Standard Sports.

“It is challenging, but we have the fitness and the focus. Since our character will be tested in each and every match we play, we are trying hard to work on our mentality. We want to win each and every match we play.”

Just like his coach, new captain Harun Shakava is desperate to inspire K’Ogalo to higher heights with retaining the title and qualifying for Champions League second round being his targets.

The former Kakamega Homeboyz centre half made a perfect start to his term as Gor captain after scoring the lone goal in last weekend’s Super Cup win over arch-rivals AFC Leopards, in Nakuru.

“Wearing an armband comes with its own responsibility, but I am more than ready to guide my teammates to success. Just like my predecessor (Musa Mohammed), I would like to leave a legacy at Gor Mahia,” said Shakava.

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