Injury-ravaged Sony Sugar are bracing themselves for what is expected to be a tough season in the Kenya Premier League.
Coach Sammy Omollo has admitted they have had to contain their ambitions this season to finish at least in the top five, thereby ruling themselves out of contention to win a second league title since their maiden victory in 2006.
"We are under no pressure to win the league. But we still have to improve on our last season's performance, where we finished 11th in the standings. That is why we have set ourselves a target of finishing at least in the top five this season," said Omollo.
Sony have had to contend with a raft of injuries during their pre-season with defender Charles Odette signed form Tusker, facing a long lay-off with a metatarsal injury and skipper Sylvester Wanyama having pulled a muscle. Wanyama is expected to be out for at least two weeks.
"We have been hit hard by injuries as it stands. We have five players on the treatment table and all of them, unfortunately, are in our first team squad," lamented Omollo.
Other players, who are out with injuries include Eugene Ochieng and Aziz Ouma (both ankle) and the twin strikers David Nyanzi recruited from Tusker and former Mathare United striker Francis Ouma. Nyanzi and Ouma are though expected to recover in time for the opening day of the season when they travel to Coast to face newly promoted Bandari.
The duo replaced the departed double act of Ismael Dunga and Enock Agwanda who joined Tusker and Sofapaka respectively.
"Ouma and Nyanzi are very important players for us because we will expect them to score goals. Ouma is experience, has been a top scorer in the league and also a champion and he will without a doubt fill in the gap left by Agwanda and Dunga," observed Omollo.
The sugar millers have planned for three more warm up matches before the new season kicks off on February 23 with a match against Water of Uganda slated for Awendo tomorrow afternoon.
The team will play two more friendlies against Oserian on Saturday and the last one against Nationwide side Finlays Horticulture.Other key signings for Sony include the acquisition of goalkeeper Wycliffe Kasaya from Gor Mahia, Bernard Meki (KCB) and John Keo (Oserian) and Amon Muchiri (Leopards).