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Tusker hog transfer market

Monday January 21 2013

PHOTO | GIDEON MAUNDU Players of newly promoted Bandari FC train at the Mbaraki Sports Club ahead of the start of this season's Tusker Premier League.

PHOTO | GIDEON MAUNDU Players of newly promoted Bandari FC train at the Mbaraki Sports Club ahead of the start of this season's Tusker Premier League. NATION MEDIA GROUP

By JOHN ASHIHUNDU [email protected]

The Kenyan Premier League secretariat is yet to officially release names of the players cleared to play in the league this season following a flurry of activity in the current transfer market.

But even as the league body undertakes the exercise of ensuring all transfers conform to the laid out rules several clubs have already released their list of new acquisitions.

Some transfers may fall through but here we bring you what, to all purposes and intents, will be the new faces of the respective 16 clubs in competition this year.

Four Ugandans have crossed over to the champions Tusker for the 2013 Kenyan Premier League.

Andrew Ssekayombya, Kiiza Martin, Awuton Khalid and Robert Omnuk were acquired by the Kenyan league defending champions from the Ugandan Super League.

The Ugandan quartet impressed during pre-season when they participated in build-ups in Tanzania and the just concluded Mapinduzi Cup in Zanzibar.

The Ugandan football Association has approved the transfer for the four players’ and issued them with an International Transfer Certificate.

Fifa regulations stipulates that players over the age of 16 years to be cleared before playing outside their homeland.

The development was confirmed by the club team manager Willis Waliaula.

“Obviously, they don’t require a work permit to play in Kenya owing to the East African Community. These players are really talented and I am confident they will make a big impact at the club,” he said.

Tusker will represent Kenya in the Cecafa Club Championship and the African Champions League this year.

The brewers’ tactician Robert Matano has raided Mathare United and made off with strikers Jesse Were and Andrew Tololwa.

Other new faces at the Ruaraka-based side are Titus Wamalwa and Victor Maji, from Karuturi Sports, Edwin Ombasa from relegated Rangers, Justin Monda from Western Stima and Ishmael Dunga from Sony Sugar.

Gor Mahia have named the squad that will participate in the Confederation Cup. Included are new signings, goal poaching varsity student Paul Kiongera from KCB, Innocent Mutiso from Mathare United, Zacharia Onyango from Ethiopia’s Coffee Board and David Otieno from Western Stima.

But the most interesting recruit is that of Brazilian player Giovanni Rodriguez, who looked rather out of his depth at Gor Mahia’s early season training.

On paper, this team looks stronger than the one that performed disastrously at last year’s Confederations Cup.

AFC Leopards have lured useful forward Obadiah Ndege from Tusker, hard-as-nails defender Noah Abich from Nakuru All Stars and recent student Michael Wandera from Kakamege United.

Thika United, who always talk about their championship ambitions, have promoted several academy players, the likes of defenders Charles Bruno from Malindi Academy, Sammy Mejja from Kakamega High and midfielder Josiah Gichu from the club’s youth played for foreign national teams.