Baraza for the third time called in to steer Sofapaka

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 05:03 |
Sofapaka coach John Baraza (centre) team manager Hillary Echesa (right) and assistant coach Martin Dagano during a past league match. PD/ SPORTPICHA
Sofapaka coach John Baraza (centre) team manager Hillary Echesa (right) and assistant coach Martin Dagano during a past league match. PD/ SPORTPICHA

For Sofapaka Head Coach Divaldo Alves, the chicken have finally come home to roost after reports emerged that he has been discreetly fired after presiding over a series of indifferent results. 

Divaldo’s parting of ways with Sofapaka was least surprising in that before Batoto Ba Mungu staged a renaissance in the top tier league on November 10 when they edged out gritty Wazito 2-1 at Narok County Stadium, the team had gone three consecutive matches without a win.

According to insiders, Sofapaka’s win over the promoted Wazito side did little to heal their wounds and Divaldo had to go anyway and especially given that the team is not among the top five in the pecking order of the ongoing league.

The Portugese tactician had earlier been quoted saying the team’s mental strength was not broken despite losing matches on a trot although it was apparent that Sofapaka president Elly Kalekwa may have noticed frailties somewhere in the team’s technical bench, hence the latest development.

With Divaldo reportedly out of Sofapaka books, John Baraza who has been deputising him is now at the helm once again and whether he has something up his sleeves to revive the floundering fortunes of the struggling team remains to be seen.

Baraza, a former Harambee Stars player who is best remembered for his predatory instincts, has stood the test of times at Sofapaka’s dug-out especially during the transition period of Head Coaches.

After previously serving as the understudy of Ugandan Sam Ssimbwa as well as American Melis Medo, Baraza was elevated twice and least disappointed during which time Kalekwa was shopping for a senior expatriate trainer.

Sofapaka are lined up for a midweek match against Mathare United in Kasarani on Wednesday with Baraza, who is in his third stint as Head Coach, hopeful of rekindling the magic charm.

“Mathare is a strong team and obviously, we have to be at our best to prevail over them. Our win over Wazito gave players a lot of confidence and we hope to give the match against Mathare our best shot,’’ said Baraza.

It was none other than Mathare who broke Gor’s unbeaten run recently and it would be advisable for Sofapaka not to handle them with kids gloves.

Meanwhile, four other matches are lined up the same day with moneybags Wazito hoping to atone for the loss against Sofapaka when they face Kisumu All Stars at Moi Stadium in Kisumu.

In Machakos, KCB will train their guns on Chemelil Sugar as Nzoia welcome Posta Rangers in Machakos.

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