Situma unruffled ahead of Ruaraka return as Tusker host Homeboyz
- Former Tusker FC captain James Situma has mixed feelings as his current team Kakamega Homeboyz visit Ruaraka for the first time since 2017, in a Kenyan Premier League match slated for Saturday.
- Situma, whose side has won only a single match in their last five KPL outings, will be facing a wounded Tusker who lost 2-1 to struggling FC Nakumatt on Sunday.
Former Tusker FC captain James Situma has mixed feelings as his current team Kakamega Homeboyz visit Ruaraka for the first time since 2017, in a Kenyan Premier League match slated for Saturday.
However, he says, his vast experience in the local league comes in handy, to help him calm the would be anxiety of facing his former team.
Situma, whose side has won only a single match in their last five KPL outings, will be facing a wounded Tusker who lost 2-1 to struggling FC Nakumatt on Sunday.
In an exclusive interview with Citizen Digital, Situma however minced no words in warning the 11-time KPL champions who unceremoniously saw him exit the club at the end of 2017 season.
“I believe that we are ready, whoever our coach gives an opportunity in the match is up to the task. I believe we can win against them (Tusker),” said Situma.
The experienced defender further noted they are not worried about the difficult period they have endured recently, charging Homeboyz have been good on the pitch but unlucky.
Thus, his words are anything to go by, Tusker should be worried if lady luck turns with a smile to the Kakamega based side.
Having won the 2016 domestic double (KPL and FKF Shiled titles) with Tusker as the skipper, the 33-year old admits facing his former employers at their backyard is not an easy affair.
“There’s mixed feeling within me, it is quite emotional because I have a big history with Tusker. I have won a double with them amongst other things. For a player, it’s always difficult to play against such a team,” said Situma.
Situma’s past with Tusker notwithstanding, commitment to Homeboyz comes first and cannot wait to show his worth in the match.
“When I was at Tusker, I did my best to help the team win. I’m now at Homeboyz, my duty is to do the same. Respect remains for Tusker but fidelity to my current contract matters most for now,” he underscored.
Like Situma, former Harambee Stars ace Allan Wanga is in Homeboyz squad, previously having featured for Tusker.
Notably, he was part of the 2016 team that under Ugandan Paul Nkata won the 11th league title for the side.
Tusker, who had to replace the entire technical bench in April led by Ugandan head coach Sam Timbe, are still struggling to leap into the top 10 under veteran tactician Robert Matano.
They are currently placed 13th on the 18-team league, four spots below Homeboyz who have 21 points from 16 matches.
Matano won his first three matches before losing the rhythm against rivals Kariobangi Sharks at Ruaraka and away in Machakos to Nakumatt.
The reverse fixture in the 2017 season ended up in a 1-0 victory, in favour of the brewers.
Elsewhere, Thika United are keen to bounce back to winning ways when they visit Vihiga United at the Mumias Complex on Sunday.
Goalkeeper trainer Oliver Rutto, who has been facilitating transition at the Thika based side since the exit of Nicholus Muyioti, has warned Vihiga to underrate his charges on their own peril.
“We lost to AFC Leopards on Sunday but gave a good account of ourselves. We played well in the first half, and we should have capitalised on the opening minute’s tempo. Lapse of concentration in the second have gave Leopards easy goals and we were punished.
“I think we cannot be rated from this result only. There is a fresh optimism under the new head coach (John Njogu) and the players know we have to be in KPL next season. I hope this mentality proves self evident when we play Vihiga,” averred Ruto.
Vihiga are 12 th, four places above Thika who have 15 points from 16 outings in the campaign.
In another crucial duel, Ulinzi Stars, currently second with 28 points only behind table toppers Gor Mahia on 31 points, will play fifth perched Sofapaka on 25 points.
The John Baraza coached side could climb up to second and tie points with the soldiers should they win, with only goal difference to separating them.
In another match, Kariobangi Sharks who are playing in the top flight for the second season will host Bandari FC at Camp Toyoyo, hoping go level on points with the visitors (24) from a win.
Chemilil Sugar vs Nzoia Sugar – Chemilil Complex – 1:00 pm
Tusker vs Kakamega Homeboyz – Ruaraka Grounds – 3:00 pm
Kariobangi Sharks vs Bandari – Camp Toyoyo – 11:00 am
Vihiga United vs Thika United – Mumias Complex – 3:00 pm
Ulinzi Stars vs Sofapaka – Afraha Stadium – 3:00 pm
Posta Rangers vs Nakumatt – Camp Toyoyo – 3:00 pm
Wazito vs Nzoia Sugar – Camp Toyoyo – 4:15 pm
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