Sofapaka Head Coach Sam Ssimbwa and his deputy John Baraza have their in-trays full as they lead their troops in an intriguing Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match against Chemelil Sugar at Narok Stadium on Sunday.
Sofapaka, who are placed second in the league chart behind Gor Mahia, has been a team on transition and are searching for points in every nook and cranny to put pressure on K’ogalo who have a six-point advantage over Batoto Ba Mungu.
Speaking soon after Sofapaka’s training session at Eastleigh High School, Baraza said the team is determined to win as many matches as possible and hope that Gor falters at some stage to take the driving seat.
And the tactician has declared that the protracted fight starts with the tie against Chemelil though he conceded that the match may not be easy given the sugar-belt’s fighting spirit.
‘The team is in no mood to lose a match. I want to say that the match against Chemelil will offer us the biggest challenge since they are a strong team. But obviously, it should not be misconstrued to mean that they will have it easy since we also have the task of catching up with Gor and by this, I mean registering maximum points, ’’said Baraza.
These are sentiments that cannot be wished away especially taking into account the fitness levels of the current Sofapaka players and which were instilled by experienced physical trainer Malik Diallo.
Last Wednesday, a day after a heavy downpour which pounded Nairobi, Diallo was seen taking the players through training drills at a section of a sodden pitch ostensibly to make them be accustomed to similar conditions if it was a league match.
Meanwhile, Ssimba has downplayed the absence of injured Mathias Kigonya, saying George Opiyo and Reuben Juma are equal to the task.
‘’I think both goalies can effectively fill Kigonya’s gap. We always have stand-by players in case the regular players get injured and it will not be an exception against Chemelil,’’said Ssimbwa.
Umaru Kasumba, currently the hottest properties at Sofapaka, will be one of the players to watch alongside fellow Ugandan Ali Feni and national team defender Wesley Onguso and forward Ezekiel Okare.
Kasumba who has six goals to his name will be hoping to add to his tally to bridge the gap with Stephen Waruru of Ulinzi Stars who is the top marksman in the league with 11 goals.
After clashing Chemeli, Sofapaka face yet another acid test in a mid-week tie next Wednesday against Ulinzi Stars at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.
Last five matches- Sofapaka v Chemelil Sugar
Sofapaka/ Chemelil Sugar
Sofapaka 1 Posta Rangers 1
Sofapaka 3 Nzoia Suigar 1
Sofapaka 5 Nakumatt 2
Sofapaka 3 Thika United 0
Sofapaka 3 Muhoroni Youtg 2
Chemelil Sugar 0 Nzoia Sugar 0
Chemelil Sugar 1 Muhoroni Youth 0
Chemelil Sugar 0 Ulinzi Stars 1
Chemelil Sugar 1 Posta Rangers 1
Chemelil Sugar 1 Zoo Kericho 1
Head To Head Stats – Sofapaka v Chemelil
Sofapaka 1 Chemelil Sugar 0 (KPL 13/05/2017)
Chemelil Sugar 2 Sofapaka 1 (KPL 09/07/2016)
Sofapaka 1 Chemeli Sugar 2 (KPL 02/04/2016)
Chemelil Sugar 2 Sofapaka 2 (Top 8 26/09/2015)