Kisumu All Stars players Steve Otieno, Jeckonia Ogendo and Gerishome Arabe during training in Kisumu. [Washington Onyango, Standard]

Kenyan Premier League (KPL) side Kisumu All Stars are keen to hold a firm on the top league this season.

All Stars head coach Andrew Aroka said players have been training individually and in small groups and will be ready for the promotion playoffs.

All Stars, commonly referred to as ‘Otenga’, will face National Super League (NSL) side Vihiga United at Mumias Sports Complex in Kakamega today in one of the two-legged KPL promotion playoffs.

Aroka said he has confidence in his team despite their poor form during the regular season that saw them finish 16th in the standings after winning two matches before the season was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are confident ahead of the match. Every player is ready after a month of training. We know it will be hard to get back to our fitness level, but we hope to stay in KPL.

“Vihiga is a tough team especially if you look at their track record during the super league regular season. We should believe in ourselves. It will be hard playing away but we have to summon discipline and win,” he said.

Kisumu All Stars head coach Andrew Aroka. [Washington Onyango, Standard]

In Kakamega, Vihiga United head coach Sammy Okoth said despite the limited time of training they will be fighting to return to KPL.

Okoth said they aim to win their home match before heading to Kisumu.

“During the pandemic, we relied on individual programmes that we couldn’t monitor and it will be hard to gauge how the outcome of the match will be. However, our main objective is to return to the topflight league. We bank on individual performances,” Okoth said.

Kisumu All Stars attacking midfielder Elisha Owino during training ahead of Vihiga match. [Washington Onyango, Standard]

Vihiga United was ranked third in the National Super League standings with 35 points same as Nairobi Stima but with 12 goal difference when the league was ended due to the coronavirus pandemic and they qualified for the playoffs.

From NSL, Nairobi City Stars and Bidco United were both promoted to the top flight league while Gor Mahia were declared the champions for the 2019-20 campaign. 

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