Mathare United out to hold on to KPL Under 20 crown
Reigning Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Under 20 champions Mathare United have named three national Under 20 team players for Saturday’s opener against Muhoroni Youth at the Camp Toyoyo Grounds in Nairobi.
David Otieno, Job Ochieng and Patrick Semo have been called up in the starting 11 for the first match of the December tournament by head coach Gabriel ‘Kingi’ Njoroge who orchestrated the victory.
“I feel as the defending champions, teams will come into this tournament with the urge to beat us but we will do our best to defend and ensure that we take game by game seriously,” Njoroge told Citizen Digital after their final training session on Friday morning.
Mathare finished unbeaten in August and edged Gor Mahia 1-0 in the final to secure top honours in the tournament held to coincide with school holidays.
Mathare have lost 11 of the 23 players who were instrumental in their winning run for a variety of reasons including; match fitness, school responsibilities and injuries.
Njoroge and his technical bench’s main concern will be how quickly the team gels for the month long championship that concludes on New Year’s Eve.
“We have new players who we are tuning so that they can blend in the team,” Njoroge, a former tactician of the senior Mathare team.
The junior team has been training at the Goan institute in Pangani for the past 2 weeks and lost 2-0 to the senior team last Tuesday in a build up friendly.
In other fixtures, last year’s losing finalist, Gor will face Posta Rangers with Chemelil Sugar pitted against Sony Sugar, Western Stima will battle it out against Ulinzi stars.
All the matches will be played at the Camp Toyoyo grounds
-Additional reporting by Violah Cherono
8am Mathare United vs Muhoroni Youth U20 Camp Toyoyo
10.15am Gor Mahia vs Posta Rangers U20 Camp Toyoyo
14.00pm Chemelil Sugar vs Sony Sugar U20Camp Toyoyo
16.15pm Western Stima vs Ulinzi Stars U20 Camp Toyoyo
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