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KPL 2019/20: What are the coaches saying before kick-off?

02:47 EAT 30/08/2019
What are the Kenya Premier League's coaches saying ahead of the league's kick-off on Friday?

  • Nakumatt coach Fred Ambani.

    Fred Ambani – Wazito FC

    “We have had a good pre-season, shaping up for the new season, and we are ready for Saturday's game against [Nzoia Sugar],” Ambani told Goal on Thursday. “Most of our players are available for selection and it is up to the technical bench to come up with a winning squad.

    “It has been a competitive pre-season for all the players and I believe those given a chance will step up and help us get our first points this season."

  • Posta Rangers coach Sammy Omollo.

    Sammy Omollo – Posta Rangers

    “Every coach would love to start the season with a win, and it explains why our match against Sofapaka will be tough,” Omollo told Goal. “[Sofapaka] is a good side, a strong one and they have had good preparations in pre-season.

    “However, we also want the points and I believe if we settle fast and stick to our game plan we will get something from the game. We do not want late struggles as it has been the norm in the past two or so seasons.

    “This time around we want to be consistent on the pitch to stand a better chance of finishing among the top ten."

  • Sofapaka coach John Baraza.

    John Baraza – Sofapaka

    “If you see how other teams like BandariTusker and even Sofapaka have been building their squads recently, it suggests readiness of those clubs to challenge Gor Mahia,” Baraza told Goal.

    “We are yet to see a very competitive league and you can remember we [Sofapaka] lost to Gor Mahia twice last season, something the other teams did not manage against us.

    “So, if Sofapaka can only find a way of facing and winning over Gor Mahia then I can confidently say we are capable of going for the league again, but we should not forget we will face another 18 teams so we need to have a broader focus going into next season.”

  • Tusker coach Robert Matano.

    Robert Matano - Tusker FC

    “We are ready for the season, we have prepared well and we now know what we need to do to beat Gor Mahia to the title," he told Goal. “We'll fight to the end and will not give up as we did last season.

    “We want to have a close contest until the end of the season and will not be ready to give up. I want my players to respond with a good start and also we target a consistent run. It will help us to know where we stand at the half way stage of the season.”

  • Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack at Kasarani.

    Steven Polack - Gor Mahia

    “It’s a good result ahead of the next round,” Polack said after Gor Mahia beat Aigle Noir of Burundi to qualify in Caf Champions League. “Football is all about entertaining people. I have been here for only two weeks but I’m already pleased with what I’ve seen in the team so far.

    “I’m not thinking about the next round; my focus right now is on our league’s season opener [against Tusker].

    “My target is to get a winning start because it will prove to many we are ready to defend the title. We want to win and we know we can. I am waiting to see how my players respond on day one.”

  • Salim Babu of Sony Sugar.

    Salim Babu - Western Stima

    “There is a tremendous improvement from the day we began our pre-season. I can now confidently say I have a team ready for the season,” said Babu. “So far we have had a very good pre-season. Despite losing some players, we have replaced them with equally good players.

    “Our main target for the season is to avoid being relegated like it was almost the case last season. We want to target a top ten finish and I know it is possible.”

  • James Nandwa of Sony Sugar.

    James Nandwa - Sony Sugar

    Sony Sugar are a big team with a massive following and I am happy to get this opportunity to lead the team,” Nandwa told Goal. “A good thing about the team is their dedication towards helping youth to nurture their talent, and I would love to be part of it.

    “I admit it will not be easy especially after losing several top players, but that does not mean we cannot make it. It will be a huge and exciting challenge for me to build this side but I am ready for it.”

  • Zedekiah Otieno of Gor Mahia.j

    Zedekiah Otieno - KCB

    “As a team, we have our own target which is to try and win the league. Everybody starts at the same spot but for us to win the league, we must have more points on board which is what we are going to try and do when the season kicks off,” Otieno said.

    “It’s all about teamwork, and we want to kick off our campaign strongly.

    "With this kind of preparations and support we have received from the management, we stand a good chance of achieving a top ten finish.”

  • AFC Leopards coach Casa Mbungo.

    Casa Mbungo - AFC Leopards

    “This will be a completely different season for us as well as our fans, we have been preparing for the last seven weeks,” Mbungo told Goal. “I know we did not have the best of pre-seasons, but it does not reflect what our plans are when the season kicks off.

    “We have a target and we must achieve it. We are ready and the team looks sharp. The new signings have also come in well and I hope to use them regularly.”

  • William Muluya of Kariobangi Sharks.

    William Muluya – Kariobangi Sharks

    “We want to better our performance from last season, where we managed to reach the final of FKF Shield Cup and lost to Bandari FC,” Muluya told Goal. “We want to challenge for the title, we are capable of giving it a try and we will do exactly that.

    “We have had one of the best pre-season, and I am happy the team is still intact, we only lost George [Abege] who signed for Asante Kotoko in Ghana.

    "We want to start with a bang and are ready to rock horns against Western Stima on Friday.”

  • Chemelil Sugar players celebrate.

    Charles Odera - Chemelil Sugar

    “We have played eight friendly matches, and the performances were good, [so we] hope it will be translated in our first match during the weekend,” Odera told Goal.

    “We have not got many new players after a number left and few came to replace them but all in all, we hope for a better season than the last one.

    “Many teams will struggle without the grants from a title sponsor. The money teams got from them were especially used for logistics and payment for salaries and the exit of SportPesa is surely going to affect the league generally.”

  • Ulinzi Stars coach Benjamin Nyangweso.

    Benjamin Nyangweso - Ulinzi Stars

    “A few players will not be with us but it should not be a very big problem,” Nyangweso told the club’s official website. “I am sure of the quality of players I have and I remain hopeful we will give this season a good start.

    “We play a team [Kisumu All-Stars] which has just been promoted and is very ambitious so we will have to employ caution but I have told my players and they know it too, a win in the first game is very crucial.

    “The [Military Games] were a crucial part of our preseason and I am happy with what we did as a team. It was a good measure for our fitness levels and gave me a picture of which players to use under certain circumstances.

    “The lessons we took from the games are a lot and we will strive to implement the positives in the league.”