Former Ulinzi Stars and AFC Leopards talisman Mike Nyongesa Baraza has joined Kenyan Premier League (KPL) side Western Stima on a six month contract.
Baraza returns to competitive football after an 18 month hiatus. He last featured in the KPL in December 2013 for AFC Leopards before leaving in a huff with a year left on his contract.
The 36 year old becomes the first confirmed June signing at the Henry Omino-coached side. New faces are expected to be unveiled at the club in the course of next week - according to club chairman Laban Jobita.
“We have signed Mike Baraza for a period of six months with an extension clause on his contract,” Jobita told Soka after their 4 – 0 win over Kawangware's Boma FC in the first round of the 2015 GOtv Shield at Moi Stadium, Kisumu after a brace of goals from David Okello and a goal apiece from Fredrick Nyarombo and John Kiplagat.
“We are in the process of completing other targets and hopefully in the course of next week, we shall make it official,” he added.
Jobita now believes his striking force is sharp enough to pull strings when the second round of the KPL gets underway the coming week with the power men visiting last season runners up Sofapaka at the Machakos Stadium on Friday 26 June.
“We were looking for a striker ahead of the second round and roping in somebody of Baraza’s experience is a plus and I believe it is the reason why the coach (Henry Omino) recommended him to be brought on board.”
Baraza, who boasts of 24 International caps and six goals according to Fostats.com, began his club football career with AFC Leopards then Nzoia Sugar and later Ulinzi Stars before moving to Malaysia in 2006 to play for Polis Di-Raja. He then travelled to Tanzania the following year where he ended up playing for Simba SC and Azam FC.
Player of the Year
He was named the Leopards’ 2012 Player of the Year after top scoring at club level on nine goals.