Category: NEWS

WARURU LAUDS TEAMWORK IN LEAGUE RUN UP

Club captain Stephen Waruru has lauded the importance of teamwork in the team’s run this season, bouncing back from a poor start to the campaign to move all the way into the top three.

The team endured a run of seven winless matches in the opening phase of the season, but bounced back to make for lost ground.

“It has been a good season generally and we have given our best and still giving our best for the remaining matches of the season. Things did not start very well for us but I am happy that we regained our footing to be where we are today. We will still work to achieve our target which is to finish number two,” Waruru stated.

On what has worked for the team this season;

“We had a lot of togetherness and brotherhood in the team. We are like a family and do everything like a unit both on and off the pitch. That has brought a lot of cohesion and in turn the results have reflected on the pitch because we are performing well,” he stated.

The forward hopes he can add on to his scoring tally this season having bagged four goals. Though his primary target was to score above 10 goals this campaign, Waruru says the achievements of the team supersedes any individual accolades.

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WE TARGET NINE POINTS IN THE REMAINING GAMES, SAYS MOUSSA

Sofapaka defender Mousa Omar says the team is targeting to harvest all points on offer in the remaining three games of the season so as to push for a second spot finish. Omar who has been rock solid in the Sofapaka defense believes finishing second would be a good reward for the season.

“We didn’t start very well in the first few games but we recovered and for a tough league like the KPL, I think we can count this as a successful season. We are now in the top three because of the hard work and we need to ensure we finish as strong,” stated Omar.

He added; “We have three games remaining and the target is to collect nine points. This will be a reward for all the work we have put in this season and I believe we can achieve it.”

After the season ends, Omar will be switching his attention to every player’s dream, playing in the African Cup of Nations. The defender played a vital role for his country Burundi, helping them to qualify for their first ever AFCON.

He has been rewarded with a call up to the team that travels for the tournament in Egypt and he now hopes he can make a mark for his country.

“As a player I feel happy to be on the right side of history and be among the players who have taken Burundi to the first ever AFCON. The first part of the job is done now into the second which is actually ensuring we represent Burundi to the best of our ability,” Omar stated.

The defender played in four of the six qualification matches for Burundi, starting in three and coming on as a sub in one. He was in the 18-man squad for all the matches.

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SOFAPAKA FC LINEUP AGAINST NZOIA FC

Our lineup for SPL Round 31 is as follows when we play Nzoia at Mumias Sports Complex on Saturday 18th May 2019 for the Sportpesa Premier League Championship as presented by our Head Coach John Baraza and the technical bench

Starting eleven include:

Justin Ndikumana .01
Willis Obayi .03
George Maelo .08 (C)
Pistone Mutamba .09
Umaru Kasumba .13
Moussa Omar .15
Elli Asieche .16
Titus Achesa .20
Brian Magonya .26 
John Avire .40
Kepha Aswani .50

SUBSTITUTES

Richard Aimo .32
Micheal Oduor .11
Samuel Mutiria .17
Tevin Omutere .19
Stephen Waruru .22
Ronald Okoth .23
Emmanuel Otieno .24

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faina of sofapaka

BARAZA’S CONFIDENCE IN ME BUOYED MY SEASON, SAYS FAINA

Sofapaka defender Faina Jacobs has disclosed the confidence shown in him by coach John Baraza challenged him to give his best when handed a starting opportunity. Faina has been an ever-present figure in the backline since coach Baraza took charge and his partnership with Moussa Omar has been rock solid.

Faina did not play much at the start of the season.

“As a player, the most important thing for you is playing time and when coach Baraza showed confidence to give me a starting place, I had to work hard to repay his faith. Every time I would be on the pitch I wanted to play my best game possible and not let him down,” Faina said.

“For him to give me a starting position meant he saw something in me and I had to deliver. I kept pushing each game and the teammates have also helped me a lot to play each game better,”

He added; “The season has turned out very well and actually better than I thought. For me this is a good step and hopefully it can be a springing board for next season.”

Faina now believes that if the team is kept together, they can vie for the title next season.

“The problem is that this season we didn’t start well. Had we begun better especially in our first seven games, we would be talking something different now,”

“We have learnt from our mistakes this season and we have worked very hard to make up for lost ground because most people had written us off. If we stay together with the cohesion and understanding we have built as a team, we will be formidable next season,” he stated.

Faina will miss Saturday afternoon’s game against Nzoia Sugar in Bungoma as he is suspended having picked up five yellow cards, but is confident the team will still pick positive results.

“I know we have a good team, we have players who can step up anytime and I believe we will win. Our target now is to finish in the second position and we will fight to get there,” added Faina.

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Ndikumana: We will push to finish second

NDIKUMANA; WE WILL PUSH TO FINISH SECOND

Sofapaka keeper Justin Ndikumana has urged his teammates on to work hard over the last four games of the season to see the team finish second in the Kenyan Premier League standings. Sofapaka’s 2-0 loss to Gor Mahia last weekend to diminish their hopes of vying for the title.

Ndikumana now says the team must dust itself from that disappointment and give their all in the remaining fixtures;

“We were disappointed with that loss but that is in the past now. We have to focus on the task that is ahead of us. We can’t mourn over what has happened behind us but instead focus on ensuring the team finishes as high as possible,” Ndikumana stated.

“For us now, that focus is on second spot. It is something that we can achieve and for the pride of the team will have to work to actualize that plan,” added the keeper.

The Burundian international was recently named in his national team’s squad for next month’s African Cup of Nations and he has expressed his delight.

“I think it is something that I have worked on so hard and since I came to Kenya, I promised myself that I will put in all the work for my team so that I can be seen in the national team. The results are visible and I am very excited. It is every player’s dream to play at a stage such as the AFCON and in the remaining games I will work hard to prove that I can start,” the keeper opined.

Ndikumana joined Sofapaka at the beginning of the season from Congolese side St. Ellois Lupopo.

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Magonya, Kasumba return for Sofapaka ahead of Nzoia trip

MAGONYA, KASUMBA RETURN FOR SOFAPAKA AHEAD OF NZOIA TRIP

Sofapaka has been boosted with the return of midfielder Brian Magonya and top scorer Umaru Kasumba ahead of Saturday’s tie away to Nzoia Sugar in Bungoma. Kasumba who has scored 16 goals this season has missed the last two matches due to a foot injury while Magonya missed the last game against Gor Mahia with a knock.

But, the two have trained well over the past week and have been passed fit for the trip to Bungoma.

“It is a huge plus for the team to have the two back because they have been quite an integral part of the team. They have showed very good fitness levels and their return will give us an edge when we play against Nzoia,” Coach John Baraza said.

Baraza hopes his side can quickly bounce back after last weekend’s disappointment against Gor and has tipped his side to carry the day against a tough Nzoia side.

“Nzoia is not an easy side as you saw on Wednesday they beat the champions Gor. They are a team which plays on the fast break and their wingers are so sharp. This will be a tough assignment for us especially now that we are playing away from home. But we have prepared well and we know we have what it takes to win,” stated Baraza.

On the expectations for the team over the next four games;

“Our ambition now is to fight for that second spot. We started the season badly and I think that is what has cost us because we were always playing catch up. We have worked so hard to be where we are now and I think I am proud of the boys. Now we just need to focus on finishing strong,” Baraza stated.

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AVIRE, OMINO NAMED IN HARAMBEE STARS PROVISIONAL AFCON SQUAD

The Sofapaka FC duo of John Avire and Dennis Omino have been included in the Harambee Stars provisional 30-man squad for the 2019 African Cup of Nations. While Omino has been a mainstay in the team playing a crucial role in the qualification, Avire will be making his maiden appearance.

Avire was called up for the Under-23 team for the first time ever in the Olympic qualifiers and has now been given the nod to be among the seniors.

“I am very happy with this chance because it is every player’s dream to play for their national team. Being called up to the AFCON squad is a huge huge thing for me and I promise to work hard to maintain my place in the team,” Avire said.

He added; “I hope I can do enough to go to the Cup of Nations because that would be a massive thing for me. I have to prove in training and in the few matches that remain in the league that I can handle the big stage.”

The two players will hope to be in the squad of 26 that will be selected for a training camp in France and ultimately the 23 that travel to Egypt for the Cup of Nations.

Striker Pistone Mutamba has been included in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) squad where Avire and Omino are also part of. The team will take on Burundi in July in the first round of the CHAN 2020 qualifiers.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Justin Ndikumana and defender Mousa Omar have also been called up to the Burundian national team preparing for the Cup of Nations. Omar and Ndikumana played crucial roles for the Swallows to aid them to their first ever Cup of Nations appearance.
“It is an honor and we will do our best to not only make the team to Cairo, but also play a starting role and being actively part of the dream,” Omar stated.

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2019-SOFAPAKA-LINEUP-R30-MAY-12TH

SOFAPAKA FC LINEUP AGAINST GOR MAHIA FC

Our lineup for SPL Round 30 is as follows when we play Gor Mahia fc at Moi Stadium, Kisumu on Sunday 12th May 2019 for the Sportpesa Premier League Championship as presented by our Head Coach John Baraza and the technical bench

Starting eleven include:

Justin Ndikumana .01
Mohammed Kilume .04
Faina Jacobs .06
George Maelo .08 
Pistone Mutamba .09
Dennis Omino .14
Moussa Omar .15
Elli Asieche .16
Titus Achesa .20
Stephen Waruru .22 (C)
John Avire .40

SUBSTITUTES

Richard Aimo .32
Willis Obayi .03
Micheal Oduor .11
Tevin Omutere .19
Ronald Okoth .23
Emmanuel Otieno .24
Ibrahim Kajuba .25

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MOUSSA READY FOR FRIENDLY FIRE WITH ‘FAMILIAR FOES’ IN GOR DUEL

Sofapaka defender Mousa Omar says he can’t wait for the second duel against his familiar foes Jacques Tuyisenge and fellow countryman Francis Mustafa when batoto ba Mungu take on Gor Mahia in a crucial Kenyan Premier League match in Kisumu on Sunday.

The three have been friends for a long time and Omar says it is always a pleasure playing against them and he says this time round, he wants to leave as the winner.

“It is very interesting playing against them because we have been friends and have known each other for a very long time. I know how they play, they know how I play so it is always difficult when we play against each other. Sunday will be interesting,” Omar stated.

The first leg in Nakuru ended 1-0 in favor of the league leaders and this time, Omar is hopeful he will be the one smiling after 90 minutes.

“We know how important this game is to us and the only focus for us is to go and win. Victory will put us closer to them and we have to do our best to win. They beat us in the first leg but we can’t allow a repeat of the same,” stated the defender.

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Stima victory vital for Gor bounce, says Baraza

STIMA VICTORY VITAL FOR GOR BOUNCE, SAYS BARAZA

Sofapaka coach John Baraza says Wednesday’s victory over Western Stima was vital to help the team earn valuable confidence ahead of Sunday’s potential title decider against leaders and defending champions Gor Mahia in Kisumu.

Goals from Kepha Aswani and John Avire secured a 2-0 win for Sofapaka against the powermen and Baraza was delighted with the boos of motivation it added to the team.

“It was such a good motivation for us to win because it keeps us in the right frame ahead of the huge match against Gor on Sunday. It will be very vital for us to ick points and catch up because getting three points against your direct rival is a huge advantage,” Baraza said.

‘We want to take the race to the last day of the season and winning against Gor on Sunday will be very crucial for us,” added the coach.

Looking back at the win over Stima, Baraza was full of praise for the players for their attitude especially after the heartbreaking 2-2 draw against Tusker last Sunday.

“After the last game which we felt was like a loss, the boys had some sort of anger to get back on the pitch and win and they showed that because they had vowed to get all the three points. It was a good performance and everyone played his part,” Baraza said.

Meanwhile, the coach says Umaru Kasumba, who is the team’s top scorer will be back in contention for a starting place after missing Wednesday’s win over Stima.

“Kasumba has played so many games and given his all and we decided, also because he had picked up a slight knock against Tusker, we thought it wise to have him rest. He will be back for the game against Gor on Sunday,” the coach said.

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