Robert Matano has spent a chunk to address some of the weaknesses witnessed last season and the squad looks well equipped to challenge for the title.
Last Season’s Finish: 3rd
With the kind of business Tusker have done ahead of the new season, it is evident that coach Robert Matano accepts that the demands of the Kenyan Premier League have gone a notch higher and this has raised expectations for his side.
Not a lot of formidable teams stand between Tusker and their 12th league title. Gor Mahia who finished 19 points clear of Matano’s side last season will once again be challengers but they do not look as the same team of last season. Bandari have added wisely but the experience of not chocking when the results are needed haven’t been exhibited in the past season. Sofapaka on the other hand have a tendency of blowing hot and cold; if they can beat the trio and whack the rest at will then the title is theirs to lose.
In acquiring the services of Rwandese Emery Mvuyekure, Tusker have perfectly addressed the departure of Patrick Matasi and should do just fine between the sticks but that’s not news. The new was the arrival of 2017 KPL MVP Mike Madoya; this being one of the best business in the window. Having been a consistent performer since helping Zoo Kericho to promotion in the top flight, this is a player who is going to be a key member for this Tusker team if they are to win a silverware.
With Madoya, they have added goals in their team but they will need Timothy Otieno to fire week in week out if they are to see out games as the defence is still suspect. Stalwart Lloyd Wahome is expected to continue at the center of defence but he is not the same player we had four season ago and this can be detrimental when they are up against speedy striker. They are expected to concede goals and that can only be covered by banging in more goals on the other end.
Highly rated Clyde Senaji ho worked with Matano at AFC Leopards should swiftly replace Brian Osumba (who moved to Rangers) in midfield with Hashim Sempala and maybe Jackson Macharia expected to dictate the midfield proceedings; not a bad pairing at all. They still have Boniface Muchiri to trouble opposition from the wings and they should do just fine this season.
The left back position left by David Mwangi who joined Sony Sugar has a new occupant in Sammy Mejja. This another great addition to the team but Tusker must ensure that he is fit week in week out if they are to reap the benefits of the former Thika United man.
Regardless of who is fielded this season, the quality of options now available for Matano are the strongest Ruaraka has witnessed for some time. Its time he replicated the club’s 2016 double winning season, he has no complains.