Gor Mahia and Tusker usher in the 2012 Kenyan Premier League season with a bid to draw first blood in a busy year for both clubs as they battle for the DSTV Super Cup trophy at Nyayo National Stadium tomorrow.
With Sh750,000 and half a million up for grabs for the winners and the losers respectively, the motivation for this clash has been huge and there will be no difference tomorrow. "We need to send a statement of what we want to achieve this season and their is no better opportunity to do that than against the league champions," said Gor skipper and goalkeeper Jerim Onyango.
Both teams have made a raft of changes within their ranks and the fans of the two sides will be eager to catch a glimpse of their new stars ahead of the league kick off next weekend. "Gor have brought in many players but we have also signed quality players making us even better than last year," charged Tusker midfielder Joseph Mbugi.
Neither of the two coaches has hidden the fact they are taking the one off battle seriously with Gor's Cameroon coach Alaba Awono taking his side to camp in Naivasha from where they will return today for Sunday's clash Tusker on the other hand have been training intensely at the Utalii grounds for this encounter. While the brewers will be bidding to defend their KPL title and do well in the CAF Champions League, Gor will be hoping to cling to their FKF Trophy as well as represent the country in the CAF Cup after tomorrow's epic tie.
Elsewhere, Kenya Premier League side Nairobi City Stars warmed up for the new season with a straightforward 3-1 win over Nationwide outfit Kenya School of Law at the Hope Centre grounds in Nairobi on Thursday. After a goalless fist half largely dominated by Gideon Ochieng's side, Former AFC Leopards' striker Silas Aluvisia opened the scoring for City Stars after a pass from Peter Ashinga caught the college boys flatfooted.
Stocky Burundi striker Dan Serunkuma then added two more goals in the 64th and 75th minute to set City Stars on their way to victory.
Kelvin Ochieng netted KSL's consolation goal beating Ronnie Kagunzi with a low effort in the 85th minute. City Stars striker Aluvisia was confident that his new side can avoid the poor start to the season they had last year that almost cost them their seven year stay in the top flight league. "We have prepared well so we can have a good start to the season and challenge to finish higher than we did last year. The coach has brought many experienced players who we hope will help us achieve our targets," he said.
Coach Ochieng who was credited with the Kawangware side's stay in the top flight has brought in former Gor Mahia player Francis Akango, goalkeeper Kagunzi, Nicholas Ochieng and Andrew Ongwae, The clubs former players Collins Tiego and John Amboko have also returned. Elsewhere Sofapaka also had their final tune up match before the KPL kick-off when they beat Nationwide side Kariobangi Sharks 2-0 in a friendly on Thursday. Bob Mugalia and Jsopeh Nyaga registered their names on the score sheet for Salim Ali's side.