Home Sports Football Tusker bolster squad with the signing of five new players

Tusker bolster squad with the signing of five new players

 

12-time Kenyan Premier League champions Tusker FC unveiled five new players ahead of the 2023/24 Football Kenya Federation Premier League season.

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Tusker announced the acquisition of  Joseph Mwangi, James Kibande, Fabian Adikiny, and Ugandan John Byamukama, while goalkeeper Edwin Simiyu has been promoted from the Youth Team.

Mwangi, 26, arrives at Ruaraka from Nzoia Sugar where he has played for the last four seasons, after signing from Nyahururu’s Griffons. The forward  was one of Nzoia’s stand out performers last season having scored 14 goals and provided assists for seven others for the Bungoma based Nzoia which finished in third place.

“I am delighted to join Tusker FC. This is a big club and when the opportunity finally opened to come here, I couldn’t think twice. I have been training with them for the last week and I have been welcomed well. I already feel at home, and I am ready to give my best for the jersey,” noted Mwangi.

He moves to Ruaraka alongside Kibande, 25, who returned to Nzoia Sugar on loan from Kenya Police FC in mid-season. Kibande had joined Police at the start of the season but opted for a return to Nzoia midway through in search of playing time. He had joined the sugar millers straight from St. Anthony’s High School, Kitale, in 2018.

In the second half of last season, Kibande played 15 games for Nzoia, scoring five goals. In total the entire season, he played 19 games, having featured only four times in his short stint with Police.

“I look at this as a fresh challenge in my career. Tusker is a team with ambitions, and you can see from how they have been performing over the last few seasons. It will offer me a challenge to also step up and do well. My target is to help the team win trophies this season,” Kibande added.

Midfielder Adikiny, 22, arrives from Murang’a Seal, where he actively played a massive role in helping the team earn a promotion to the FKF Premier League. He had previously featured for Muhoroni Youth as a Schoolboy in 2017 before moving to Murang’a.

“It is a big step in my career, and I need to challenge myself to work harder. This is a massive team with huge demands, and I feel I am ready to take on the opportunity. I have felt comfortable and at home so far and I am looking forward to the new season,” Adikiny noted.

The team has also added a second Ugandan into the fray, with the signing of midfielder “Toki” Byamukama from Gaddafi FC.

“This is my first time outside Uganda and I am delighted to be at Tusker. If you ask anyone in Uganda about the big clubs in Kenya, they will always mention Tusker FC. It is a well-known club there of course because of the success some players have had here,” the midfielder noted.

He added; “I want to continue in that line of heritage too and do well for this club.”

Byamukama started his career with Bumate FC in the FUFA Big League, the second tier of Ugandan football, before joining Tooro United and ultimately Express FC. He spent the second half of last season with Gaddafi.

Meanwhile, keeper Edwin Simiyu has joined a list of players to be promoted from the Tusker Youth team to the senior team. He follows in the footsteps of Eric Zakayo, John Njuguna, and the latest one being Collins ‘Kante’ Otieno who was promoted last year.

“Kante’s promotion motivated me because we joined the Youth Team at the same time, and we spent much time together. It showed me that with hard work, you can achieve anything,” Simiyu, 23, and the senior-most player on the Junior side stated.

He added; “For me, this is a testament that patience pays. I have been patient since I joined the team in 2019 and I knew my chance would come one day. I am delighted that it has finally come. Training with Matasi (Patrick) and Bwire (Brian) and then coaching by Dunco (Duncan Ochieng) who have been regulars on the national team always motivated me. They pushed me and gave me advice and I can say it is because of them that I am here today.”

 


From Left to Right – Newly signed Tusker FC players Fabien Adikiny, James Kibade, Edwin Simiyu, John Byamukama and Joseph Mwangi during their official unveil at Ruaraka Grounds

At the same time, the club has confirmed that skipper Humphrey Mieno, midfielders Jackson Macharia and Shami Mwinyi, goalkeeper Michael Wanjala, and defenders Kalos Kirenge and Kevin Monyi have all left the club at the end of their contracts.

Also leaving the club is South Sudanese striker David Majak.

Meanwhile, Charles Momanyi and Ugandan forward Deogratious Ojok have both extended their contracts and will stay at Ruaraka for one more year.

In the same breath, Momanyi has been named the new club captain and will be assisted by Brian Bwire and Michael Kibwage.

Speaking during the unveiling of the new players, Tusker FC Head Coach Robert Matano expressed confidence with the new additions to his side, noting the move will strengthen his squad ahead of the new season.

“I am delighted by the new players that we have included in the team. I am certain they are the right profile of players we need to take the club’s performance a level higher and hopefully, they can help us win trophies next season. Our next step is now to integrate them into the team, ensuring they understand our playing philosophy and what we are trying to achieve, and I am certain they can move us forward,” said Matano.

On his part, Tusker Brand’s Ag. Marketing Manager Lennox Mwalea said; “We are pleased with Tusker FC’s continued top performances, which has cemented it as one of the best clubs in the region. As such, we are delighted to continue supporting the club in the best way possible to ensure they are well equipped to remain competitive and maintain its position at the very top. Today, we are pleased to have acquired these top players that have been carefully selected by our technical and scouting departments. They will, without a doubt, bolster our team and ensure continued success this season and beyond.”

Tusker FC is set to kick off the new season on 26th August 2023 against Mombasa-based Bandari FC. Tusker Fc was piped to the league title last season by Gor Mahia by a single point.

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