Sofapaka boss Baraza praying for survival miracle
Sofapaka FC head coach John Baraza admits the quality of the players they acquired at the start of the campaign was not good enough to cement their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) status as they hope for a survival miracle this weekend.
The 2009 KPL champions and former glamour club faced a mass exodus at the end of last season as the cash crunch bit the team following the departure of their flamboyant President Elly Mboni Kalekwa from the country.
“Our signings in the beginning of this season were not the best. We wanted to have a transition because most of the players wanted to leave and so we decided to get young players. Some did not have the experience to handle the pressure in the league,” the former captain and leading in the KPL conceded.
Sofapaka play Thika United at the Machakos Stadium hoping for victory coupled by a huge favour from Posta Rangers.
The 2009 champions will survive with victory over the already safe Thika should Rangers floor Ushuru with any other result condemning them to join Nairobi City Stars on the KPL scrap heap.
The points tally read 26 to 23 in favour of the taxmen but Sofapaka have a superior goal difference of -10 against -16 should they finish level on the final day.
“The quality of players we got did not live up to expectation and that is what affected the team in the early stages of the season but somehow we worked with what we had to grind out results in a good number of matches and this weekend’s clash will be treated like a final,” the Sofapaka boss added.
Baraza is counting on a miracle that will give him the opportunity to restore the team to its former glory next season having risen from the second tier in 2008 to win the title on their KPL debut.
“The belief is there and we are working very hard to survive this battle and if all goes well we will try and retain this squad for next season,” the former Kenya international maintained.
FINAL DAY FIXTURES (ALL SATURDAY)
15:00 Ulinzi Stars vs Bandari -Afraha Stadium
15:00 Posta Rangers vs Ushuru – Kasarani Stadium
15:00 AFC Leopards vs Muhoroni Youth -Mumias Complex
15:00 Chemelil Sugar vs Mathare United -Chemelil Stadium
15:00 Sofapaka vs Thika United-Machakos Stadium
15:00 Gor Mahia vs Tusker- Nyayo Stadium
15:00 Western Stima vs KK Homeboyz -Moi Stadium
15:00 City Stars vs Sony Sugar- Ruaraka
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