Asst Coach John Baraza


Sofapaka deputy coach John Baraza is determined to give the team’s fans an early Christmas ‘gift’ by overcoming former Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Tusker on Saturday in Ruaraka in the team’s quest to wind up in the second position this season.

The match has been described as a Nairobi derby of sorts and Baraza flatly points out that during his playing days with Sofapaka, they used to prevail over Tusker and believes that Saturday’s meeting will not be an exception.

“We used to meet these guys (Tusker) often and had a habit of beating them hands down. I believe the current Sofapaka squad is up to the task to continue with this wonderful legacy,” said Baraza.

The tactician, who is in charge of the team following the absence of Sam Ssimbwa who is in Uganda, has expressed satisfaction in all departments of the team although he was concerned with the injury on utility midfielder Bernard Mang’oli.

“Mangoli’s inner part of the foot is troubling him and he will need to go through therapy before he can be declared fully fit to play. All the same, there are suitable replacements,” said Baraza.

Despite oozing confidence, Baraza has instructed his charges to be cautious against Tusker.

‘”Tusker is a strong team which is why we should give them due respect but they are beatable for a good measure. We lost our last match against Sony Sugar and we are aware that any further slump will not auger well with our supportive fans. Simply put, our buzz word is winning the match against Tusker as well as the final one,” observed Baraza.

Since they temporarily shifted their workouts to Ruiru from Nairobi, Sofapaka have been a big hit amongst curious football fans in the cosmopolitan town with most turning up to watch them train.