Wendo targets KPL crown with Gor Mahia

By alex wafula
Sep 19, 2017
  • LG Marketing Manager Moses Marnji hands over a trophy to Ernest Wendo who was named the KPL player on the month for May, 2017. (Photo by Philip Kamakya)

  • Ernest Wendo in action against Thika United's Wilson Anekeya in a Kenya Premier League match. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Gor Mahia midfield workhorse Ernest Wendo now targets to inspire Gor Mahia to their record 16th Kenyan Premier League title after being named May’s KPL player of the month.

Wendo’s performances for K’Ogalo in the middle of the pack have won many admirers and it as well earned him call ups to the national team.

It is the same influence he has had so far this season that he wants to replicate over the remaining 11 games of the season as Gor appears to be on track to reclaim back the league title from Tusker FC.

“I’m so happy to be recognized after working so hard to be where I am. I have to work hard and maintain the levels that won me this award and hopefully help my team win silverware at the end of the season,” Wendo said on Tuesday when he was belatedly rewarded for his May efforts.

In earning the gong, Wendo beat off stiff competition from Tusker’s experienced shot stopper Duncan Ochieng, Nakumatt striker Kepha Aswani and Ulinzi Stars’ Stephen Waruru who is also the current KPL top scorer and winner of the April award.

Wendo got 23 points in the final ballot by the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) football committee, closely beating Ochieng who had 20 while Aswani and Waruru garnered 19 and 18 points respectively.

Just like fine wine, Tusker’s Ochieng came back in the brewers’ starting team, commanding four straight clean sheets in May, helping George Nsimbe’s men stabilize a dwindling season.

Goal-scoring prowess

Aswani and Waruru were nominated for their goal scoring prowess.

In May, Aswani who is the second best scorer in the league hit the back of the net four times, two of which were match winners.Waruru scored thrice.

Althought Wendo’s performances did not come with the extra tag of goals, his defensive midfield role was a huge pillar of Gor’s run in May which saw them notch wins over AFC Leopards, Nzoia Sugar and Chemelil Sugar.

With the award, Wendo walked home with Sh100,000 on top of a 49-inch LG Television while his team got Sh50,000.

Meanwhile, Posta Rangers head coach Sammy Omollo has hinted he will be forced to rotate his squad for their tie against Kariobangi Sharks tomorrow.

Posta Rangers will be playing their fourth match in the span of one week. They will also have another game on Saturday at home to Thika United.

“It is very tough for players and for me as a coach to plan because there is not much you can do to change the team in terms of adapting to a new tactic. We will have to rotate the players especially the forward line,” Omollo hinted.

The side will be missing keeper Patrick Matasi who is serving a two match suspension after accumulating 10 yellow cards and a red card. In his place, Farouk Shikhalo might get a chance for his fourth game of the season.

Martin Musalia may also be considered since he hasn’t made a single appearance.

Muyoti eyes three points

In other midweek matches, AFC Leopards play away to Thika United coached by Nicholas Muyoti a former player and coach of Ingwe.

“It will be a very tough match but for us the target is three points at home. We are not in a good place on the table at the moment and every point is valuable. We have to give our best and hopefully we can improve on scoring which has been our problem,” Muyoti said.

AFC Leopards are 14th on the standings, just a spot above relegation and six points separate them and Thika. 

Thika has a checkered record against AFC Leopards at home winning only three of their last nine league matches at the Thika Sub-County Stadium.

KPL midweek fixtures (All games kick off 3 p.m.)

Thika United v AFC Leopards (Thika Sub-County Stadium), Posta Rangers v Kariobangi Sharks (Moi Sports Centre Kasarani), Bandari v Tusker FC (Mbaraki Complex), Muhoroni Youth v Nakumatt (Muhoroni Complex).