Player-retention one of Homeboyz’s key pillars this season, says Captain Juma

David Juma will play his 5th season with Kakamega Homeboyz FC in the top flight making him one of the longest-serving players at the Kakamega based club. Now captaining the side in an overall capacity, the former Gor Mahia FC goalkeeper refers to their recent face-off against regional rivals AFC Leopards as a clash of huge magnitudes, and one that he believes will be a very big fixture a few years from now.

Juma was in goal when they dispatched Leopards 1-0 in the Week One Sunday encounter at the Bukhungu Stadium.

”It is always a big match. Nowadays before we play them there is always a lot of hype and that makes it an interesting match, more like a derby. As we prepared for the opener, everybody in camp wanted to be the one to start that match, it is that serious for us,” he tells Soka in an interview.

Homeboyz are known for great starts in the league, and last season, in their second encounter of the league- took down Leopards by three goals to nil. They had beaten Kenya Commercial Bank 1-0 in week one.

Towards the mid-season, however, the club’s technical bench that was led by now-former coach Paul Nkata was dismissed due to allegations of match-fixing at a time Homeboyz experienced a slump in performance. Nicholas Muyoti was quickly shipped in from Nzoia Sugar and steered the side to a 7th plec finish, sometimes occupying 4th position towards the end of the season. Captain Juma is keen on the team’s overall focus this time around.

Juma in action against AFC Leopards las Sunday [IMAGE- Fabian Odhiambo]

”We didn’t start too badly last season but midway through some things happened that distracted us from our main goal. These issues were however sorted and we bounced back well,” he continues.

Impact players from last season- key figures that include Golden Boot runner up Allan Wanga, sensational winger Peter Thiong’o, defenders George Odiwour and Kennedy Onyango all stayed for the new season and this has Juma purring for an even better campaign with his side.

”We are an even better side this season because even looking at last season’s team, not so many players left. In fact, key starters remained and that means we are strong,” he concludes.

Kakamega Homeboyz currently sit 6th on the 18-team Kenyan Premier League log as one of the six teams that recorded wins in Week One. They travel next travel to Posta Rangers who beat Sofapaka 2-1 in their opener.