Karuturi look to bloom in the new season

Feb 01, 2012
  • Karuturi open their their campaign at home against 2009 KPL champions Sofapaka on February 12.

Team: Karuturi Sports

Nickname: Flowermen

Home ground: Karuturi Stadium - Naivasha (‘Old Trafford’)

Coach: Michael Nam (Kenyan)

Key players:  Noah Ayuko, Geoffrey Musieba and Jacob Omondi

Major honours: None

When the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) released fixtures for the 2012 season, Karuturi Sports drew what looked like the toughest matches on the first two match days.

The Naivasha-based flowermen will open their campaign at home against 2009 KPL champions Sofapaka on February 12 before facing deposed champions Ulinzi Stars in Nakuru six days later. On paper, the two fixtures have potency to make for a disastrous season-opener for Karuturi who wound up tenth last season with 34 points from 30 matches.

Michael Nam, who took over from James Nandwa as coach, is, however, not ignorant of this fact.

“The task ahead is indeed daunting. The team has not been very consistent in the last three seasons. My main challenge is to lift the team into a competitive position and then aim for atleast a top three position the next season”, Nam told sportsnewsarena.com.s

The team has signed nine new players who were unveiled to the media last week.From the relegated Congo United, Karuturi has acquired striker Mohammed Mwachipoli and midfielder Allan Omondi while Charles Oduor has arrived from Thika United to reinforce the rearguard following the departure of Amon Muchiri to AFC Leopards.

The club also landed Thomas Bikete and Gerald Mukonza from Kawakel FC in the Nepalese league. Nam confirmed that Mukonza has already joined the squad though Biketi is yet to arrive. 
Defender Kefa Odongo from Rangers, former Tusker striker Kennedy, Oduor Jacob Kaduoro from Chemelil and Nathan Munai complete of Karuturi’s roster of new arrivals.

“The new players are gelling together and getting into my coaching philosophy. I working on instilling a new football culture in the team”, said the former Rangers FC coach.

But the team also suffered its fair share of player exodus notably Muchiri’s departure. Others who have left are David Otieno to Gor Mahia and Thomas Onyango to Oserian and striker Charles Macharia who has signed for Tusker.

Unlike the league’s top guns, who have been shuttling across the country shaping up for the season kick off, Karuturi chose their familiar backyard for pre-season training.

Last weekend, the team played two friendlies against league rivals Sony Sugar and Thika United and recorded impressive 2-0 and 4-3 wins in the respective matches. Karaturi has lined up other friendlies against Nakuru All Stars, KCB and Ligi Ndogo before the new season starts.

Nam is excited by the prospect of playing neigbours Oserian FC in the much-touted “flower derby.” “This is a match all football fans in Naivasha are looking forward to.  It will be a tough tie considering Oserian won the league twice before it was disbanded. Their return will provide a healthy competition for us though they will hold the unfancied tag of underdogs having been out for long”, he said.

Prediction: Inconsistency on the road has been the Naivasha side’s Achilles heel in the past. Still they will struggle to break in the top eight bracket.  

 

Nesta Kizito

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