Kariobangi Sharks make their maiden appearance on the continental stage today with a preliminary fixture against Djiboutian side Arta Solar at Kasarani Stadium from 4pm.
It’s a major achievement for the Kenyan side that was promoted to the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) two years ago.
The team finished third on their debut season and this year, they won their first major title; the SportPesa Shield.
This has pushed Kariobangi Sharks to the tougher continental level but coach William Muluya insists his side is under no pressure.
“Our goal is to win at the preliminary stage and we have no doubt this will happen. We are not under any pressure as our opponents are also first timers in the continental scene,” he said.
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Muluya, however, said they will be cautious against their opponents considering both teams have never met before.
“It is very important for us to start well and my players are aware of what is at stake and are ready to deliver. Our goal is to make it to the group stages but we must win at this level first.”
Team captain Eric Kapaito, who was voted the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), said apart from winning today’s match, they are also determined to keep a clean sheet.
He said it is also important for the team to score many goals at home for them to make the return leg a mere formality.
“We are ready for the match despite this being our first time at this level. It’s important for us to score as many goals as possible. It is important to finish the job early.”
Meanwhile, Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier said the club will name a new coach next week.
Speaking as he unveiled eight players yesterday, Rachier said Gor have received 53 applications for the vacant position after former coach Dylan Kerr resigned two weeks ago.
“We have received more than 50 applications and our technical panel is reviewing the same. We will have a replacement in one week,” said Rachier.
Assistant coach Zedekiah “Zico” Otieno will handle the team in the interim.
Otieno’s first duty will be tomorrow when Gor Mahia play Nyasa Bullets in a Caf Champions League preliminary match at Kasarani Stadium from 7pm.