Mukisa Junior stood behind a stoppage time free-kick on Friday 18th against AFC Leopards and fired Western Stima into unfamiliar territory-setting them on their way to a shock defeat over previously undefeated AFC Leopards. Oromcan Villa would make it 2-0 a minute later but Mukisa’s free-kick had already sent the powermen into frenzy.
The two Ugandans, opting to stay with the Kisumu based club despite their financial woes from last season, say they have seen worse days at the club, and that the win over AFC Leopards is a confidence jab to their season targets.
‘’It was a massive statement from us. We have not fared too well in the opening games but what we did on Sunday shows us that everything is possible,’’ says Mukisa.
Coach Paul Ogai re-deployed Mukisa to the right-back position after their Tusker disaster and now has a back-line comprising of the Ugandan and three youngsters roped in from the third tier; Bulimo Clinton, Bravo Otieno and Marvin Ayoro, all from the Division One.
Mukisa, who occasionally captains the side, joined Stima in 2017 and has stayed with the side through its relegation period in 2018 and fought back up with it. It’s a kind of loyalty that he feels his club deserves.
‘’I’d say the club has been good to me ever since I came in. There were many of us crossing the border at the time. Most left for greener pastures, but us we stayed. I’d want to give back for we also had some great seasons here,’’ he continues.
He feels the only BetKing Premier League side to remain afloat in the Nyanza region can survive despite a shoddy transfer period that saw it rope in numerous players from the very lower tiers. Stima, heading into the 2020/21 BKPL season with no sponsor, could not manage to nab seasoned players in the transfer window.
‘’The main challenge I’d say is that most of our new players are young but they are good. In the few matches we have played one can see the tremendous differences in their performances and even our coach notes it. I believe they will help us a lot,’’ he concludes.
2-0 was Stima’s first full set of three points this season, and coming against a side that had won all its matches, and they Stima- on the back of a 5-2 defeat to Tusker. Next on their roster is Kariobangi Sharks who travel to Kisumu on Wednesday 23rd for a midweek BKPL clash.