Promoted Vihiga, Wazito eye lasting home in KPL

Vihiga FC coach Edward Manoah is poured on water by players after winning their National ...
Vihiga FC coach Edward Manoah is poured on water by players after winning their National Super League (NSL) match against Ushuru FC at the Mumias Sports complex in Kakamega on November 25, 2017. Vihiga United FC won 1-0 to be crowned NSL champions 2017. Photo/Stafford Ondego/

Vihiga United and Wazito FC are adamant they will be no pushovers as the newly promoted Kenyan Premier League (KPL) sides begin preparations for life in the top flight.

Vihiga coach Francis Xavier said their 2017 season has been a tale of dedication, perseverance and sacrifice as they defied a grinding lack of finances to win the National Super League (NSL) title.

Xavier hailed the competitive quality of the NSL, citing the close title race that was only decided on final day. His insight was a stark comparison to the KPL as Gor Mahia FC breezed unchallenged to the crown.

“We are champions so we proceed to the KPL with a winning mentality. Our first main objective will be to avoid relegation and then after that we shall think about challenging for the title,” Xavier told Citizen Digital.

Coach Frank Ouna who led Wazito to earning their first ever top flight promotion is keen to transform the Varsity side into a mainstay KPL side and acknowledged the need to recruit more quality players.

“We want to take a few years to settle in the league,” Ouna said.

Vihiga and Wazito enjoyed impressive runs in the GOtv Shield where they were the only second-tier sides that reached the quarter-finals of the Cup tournament.

Both clubs have brief histories with Vihiga only founded four years under the support of the local county government while Wazito was formed in 2011 by the University of Nairobi soccer team and the alumni members of the soccer team.

Vihiga and Wazito will be looking to emulate Nzoia Sugar, Kariobangi Sharks, Nakumatt FC and Zoo Kericho FC who were promoted last term and yet all retained their top flight status by avoiding the drop.

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Story By John Mbati
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