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Sofapaka ready to challenge Gor Mahia and Bandari FC - Maelo

15:27 EAT 27/08/2019
George Maelo of Sofapaka celebrates Mathare Unuted goal
The defender believes the team is ready to dislodge the two teams which finished above them last season

Sofapaka captain George Maelo believes they are ready to challenge for the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title in the 2019/20 season.

The full-back has explained why he is of the opinion Sofapaka are equipped to mount a meaningful campaign in the new season, which kicks off on Friday. Sofapaka finished third behind Gor Mahia and Bandari in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 season.

“It is not going to be easy to dislodge Gor Mahia and Bandari at the top but we will fight like determined soldiers knowing the battle is not going to be easy at all,” Maelo told Goal.

“We have finished the season third after these teams twice and I believe we are fired up for this season.”

Maelo further pointed out the factors which have favoured Gor Mahia in the last few seasons where the Green Army have lifted the title three times in a row.

Moi Stadium in Kisumu has been Gor Mahia's home ground where they also defeated Sofapaka in the second leg of last season to stretch their lead at the top before eventually lifting the trophy.

“SportPesa sponsorship for Gor Mahia has been very key, they have a huge fan base in the country and also you cannot downplay the advantage of home ground,” Maelo continued.

"For Sofapaka, we do not enjoy all those because Kenyatta Stadium which is always our home ground also hosts the majority of our rivals too."

The defender also said the arrival of coach Divaldo Alves is another reason why Sofapaka are hopeful of a better season.

"Sofapaka have a lot of expectations in the league this time around especially because we have a new coach and of course new players," he added.

"What I urge the new players is they should strive to help the team post better results than last season. We aim to fight even harder in order to beat Bandari and Gor Mahia, the two teams which were better than us in the previous seasons," Maelo concluded.

"We have had some good preparations and the incoming of a new sponsor is good reason enough for us to be motivated."

Sofapaka will open the 2019/29 season with a match against Posta Rangers on August 30 at Narok Stadium.