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Gor Mahia dominance will be challenged in the 2019/20 KPL season - Baraza

7:14 AM EDT 8/21/19
John Baraza of Sofapaka.
The tactician tips other KPL teams to effectively compete against K'Ogalo in the upcoming season

Sofapaka assistant coach John Baraza has said Gor Mahia’s dominance in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) will be challenged in the 2019/20 season.

Gor Mahia have won the league title three times in a row despite having different managers and now Baraza claims the other teams have strengthened their squads and are ready to compete.

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

Last season Sofapaka lost 1-0 and 2-0 to Gor Mahia as the latter went on to win the league after opening the gap with a second-leg win in Kisumu. Sofapaka were the closest rivals before losing the match in Kisumu.

“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,” Baraza continued.

“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.”

Batoto ba Mungu have signed new players to fill the void left by key players who helped them finish third last season but the gaffer is confident the newcomers are also ready to deliver.

Sofapaka have also appointed Divaldo Alves as their new coach.

“As per what I am seeing from the training ground and the new coach's desire to enthusiastically get on with his job and perhaps the new ideas he is bringing on, I think Sofapaka are going to be very competitive,” added Baraza.

“The gaps [left by departed players] have been filled with players I believe are of the same quality as those who have left.”

Sofapaka will open the new season with a match against Posta Rangers at Kenyatta Stadium on August 31.