Kenyan Premier League: Round-Up
The Kenyan premier league keeps getting better and better as the season moves ahead. A lot of teams are finally kicking into gear and it looks like Gor Mahia’s years of dominance may finally be coming to an end. The likes of Tusker FC, Kakamega Homeboyz and Western Stima aren’t giving Gor an easy ride in the league.
Though the season begun on a dull note after official sponsors SportPesa left the country and the league, it’s all mellow at the moment. Most teams have found new sponsorships to deal with the financial crisis until the end of the season which is also a plus for the league.
Now, that most of the financial struggle has been put behind, at least until the end of the season here’s what’s happening.
Western Stima Shines In Monthly Awards
Due to troubles in finances and also with the league taking a break and other reasons, the December monthly award has finally been announced. Western Stima who have enjoyed one of the best seasons in the league in recent years have got a lot to celebrate.
Their coach Babu Salim was crowned manager of the month and received a cash prize and trophy from Fidelity Insurance. The coach led the side to an undefeated month in December where they only drew one of their four games that month.
On the other hand, Salim’s young striker Benson Omala walked away with the player of the month award. He scored five goals in the four games his team played and that seemingly compelled the voting commissioners to give him the award.
The 17-year-old striker who will be sitting his Secondary School final exams this year will even managed to grab a hat-trick in that month. He made history on that day as he became the only Western Stima player to have ever bagged a hat-trick in the Kenyan Premier League.
This is what the young man had to say,
“I must thank my coach for believing and nurturing me and I’m glad I repaid their faith by showing my brilliance and scoring goals which is a striker’s primary target.”
“If you are in class, read as if you will never play football and if you are in a football pitch, play like you’ll never be in class. My target short term is to play for two or three years in the local league then go to Europe,” he concluded.
Makwatta Remains AFC Leopards' Penalty Taker
These were the strong words issued by AFC coach Kimani after the striker missed a penalty recently. The striker who threw away not one but two penalties in that day has been in sensational form this season. He’s the league top scorer with 12 goals and should have made that 13 or even 14 if he didn’t miss.
But his manager still has faith in him and insists the striker still remains his go-to man for penalties. Though AFC won the game 2-0 against Kisumu All-Stars, some fans had called for the striker to be removed from penalty duties. That, however, landed on deaf ears, and this is what the AFC head coach had to say about it.
"Makwatta is a good penalty taker, it was just a bad day and we cannot crucify him for that," Anthony Kimani told the press.
He went on to further state,
“Things like these do happen, but he ended up scoring and helped us win the game which was not easy at all. Makwatta will remain our penalty taker; we cannot take that responsibility from him because of a one-match mistake. He is a quality player and we are aware of it."
Leopards currently sit sixth on the league table just eight points separating them from leaders Homeboyz.
Humphrey Mieno Moves To Oman
On matters transfers, Tusker has lost one of their midfield stalwarts to Oman side Al Ittihad. Though, on a short term basis, the Tusker midfield man has signed a three-month loan deal. Mieno who has played for all the major clubs in the KPL having turned out for Gor, AFC, Sofapaka and Tusker, will hope to help his new side gain promotion.
This, however, is a huge blow for Tusker FC losing the player at this crucial stage of their season. The team is looking to finally win the league they last won in 2016.
In a briefing, this is what Tusker through their Director had to say,
“Humphrey Mieno has today joined Al Ittihad on loan for the duration of the 3 months."
"The midfielder will spend the rest of the 2019/20 campaign on loan in Oman. We wish him all the best in his endeavours on this new chapter in his career.”
Tusker currently sits third on the table just one point behind leaders Kakamega Homeboyz.Published 01 Feb 2020, 13:00 IST