Gor Mahia and Tusker lead charged opening day of 2023/24 FKF Premier League season


FOOTBALL Gor Mahia and Tusker lead charged opening day of 2023/24 FKF Premier League season

Festus Chuma 10:00 - 26.08.2023

The FKF Premier League bursts alive as defending champions Gor Mahia lead a day of football fireworks, igniting passionate rivalries.

Draped in excitement and echoing with the cheers of anticipation, the long-awaited kickoff of the 2023/24 Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKFPL) season is upon us. 

A quartet of riveting matches graces the inaugural day, igniting a footballing fire that promises to blaze brighter than ever before. 

With bated breath and a symphony of emotions, fans from every corner of the nation await the crescendo of drama and skill that is about to unfold on the hallowed fields.

In this electrifying season, a tapestry of narratives is set to unfurl. Fresh talents burst into the limelight, their dreams painted across the pitch in vibrant hues.

As seasoned veterans don their jerseys once again, they stand ready to craft new chapters of their enduring legacies. Here is a brief preview of the Saturday matches.

Gor Mahia vs Sofapaka

Defending champions Gor Mahia open the season at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani as they square off against Sofapaka. 

Gor Mahia, who clinched their 20th league crown in dramatic fashion during the previous campaign, are poised to launch their current title defence with a victorious start. 

The momentum from their previous triumph has been bolstered by an array of exciting signings, including the likes of Kevin Omondi, Rooney Onyango, and Alvin Ochieng.

Sofapaka, on the other hand, are a team looking to bounce back from a season marked by inconsistency. The 2009 league champions have injected new hope into their ranks with the recent acquisition of experienced players. 

The likes of Fiston Razak, with his continental experience, and Moussa Omar, previously a part of the English club Dagenham & Redbridge, bring a renewed sense of determination to Sofapaka's camp.

Gor Mahia's coach, Jonathan McKinstry, took to social media to rally fans, stating, "It all starts again on Saturday. We look forward to welcoming you at Kasarani Stadium as Gor Mahia set off in pursuit of another FKF Premier League title. Be part of the journey from day one, and play your part in our continued success."

Nzoia Sugar vs Ulinzi Stars

In a clash that promises surprises, Nzoia Sugar, who finished fourth last season, will take on Ulinzi Stars at Sudi Stadium. 

Nzoia are undergoing a transformation, having bid farewell to 20 players from their previous campaign. Notable signings  include Vincent Ngesa, Stephen Wakanya, and Collins Wakhungu. 

However, Nzoia has infused its squad with a blend of experienced heads and fresh talent, with the aim of ascending the league ranks.

With coach Salim Babu's departure, Godfrey 'Solo' Oduor has returned to lead Nzoia Sugar. 

Solo's previous stint with the team in 2019 brings a sense of familiarity and renewed optimism. 

Ulinzi Stars, too, have experienced changes in leadership, with Antony 'Modo' Kimani taking the reins from Bernard Mwalala. 

The injection of new blood into both squads, including the likes of Faraj Ominde and Matthews Kamala Okumu, hints at an exciting clash that could be decided by the strategic prowess of the coaches.

Bandari vs Tusker

Last season's runners-up, Tusker, embark on their journey with a challenging away fixture against Bandari in Mombasa. 

The assistant captain of Tusker, Michael Kibwage instrumental in their plans for the season, emphasized the resilience needed when facing Bandari at the Mbaraki Sports Club. 

Despite the challenges, Tusker's determination is palpable, as they strive to reclaim the title they narrowly missed out on last season to Gor Mahia.

The six weeks of rigorous preparation, which included international friendlies, have primed Tusker for a spirited campaign. 

With the departure of key figures such as Humphrey Mieno and Shami Kibwana, Tusker has embraced a strategy that blends youth and experience. 

This calculated approach aims to not only bridge the gap left by departing players but also to carve a path to championship glory.

With Bandari finishing sixth in the previous season's standings, they too are eager to climb the ladder and make their presence felt. 

The clash between Bandari and Tusker promises a spectacle as both teams set out with clear intentions – Bandari to ascend the ranks, and Tusker to recapture their lost crown.

As the 2023-2024 FKF Premier League season unfurls, these opening matches offer a glimpse into the fierce competition, raw determination, and unwavering passion that define Kenyan football.

2023-2024 FKF Premier League Saturday fixtures

Gor Mahia vs Sofapaka, 3pm Kasarani

Bandari vs Tusker, 3pm Mbaraki

Nzoia Sugar vs Ulinzi Stars, 3pm Sudi

Kariobangi Sharks vs Kenya Police, 3pm Kasarani Annex