Sofapaka FC head coach Sam Ssimbwa believes the recently introduced club awards hold a big key to the club achieving the set ambitions for the season, and as the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) campaign enters the most crucial stage, the coach is banking on the rising competition in the playing unit.
The club dished out its first set of awards on Monday 4 September, with Ugandan duo of defender Rogers Aloro and striker Umaru Kasumba sharing the August Player of the Month award, while skipper Hillary Echesa was named runners up.
Kasumba also bagged the month’s top scorer’s award with the whole team also awarded for Fair Play in the month and Ssimbwa is eyeing long term proceeds from these awards, sensing silverware in his second stint at the team.
“This is a good thing and timely as well; it comes when we are heading to a very crucial stage of the season and I can already see, everyone is fighting to be in the team. Everyone wants to play well and everyone wants to impress. That there is the mark of a good team.
“As a coach I have a very good headache; it has been very hard to pick my team ever since we told the players we will have this award. The competitive levels are high and that is why we had a very good month in August,” he told Soka.
Fifth to second
The rise in August saw the team come from fifth to settle in second place, six points behind leaders Gor Mahia and Ssimbwa is braced for a brawl with the 15 – time champions for the title.
“It (the race) is going to be very interesting. We are not the only ones vying for the title. We have to look behind us and also at Gor but I am confident we will give them a run for their money,” he posed
Ssimbwa also spared a congratulatory message for all the winners in the club awards; “They have set the bar and now they know they can’t rest on their laurels. I am happy for them but they should know a lot of focus and scrutiny will be on them after this,” he added.
Kasumba broke his KPL duck in August, scoring the opener against Muhoroni Youth in the 3-2 win and he went on to score in every other match in the month, taking his tally to six in five matches, while Aloro, a defender, scored thrice in five matches in the month.