Elated trio talks up debut performances

Mathare United's Elijah Mwanzia challenges Zoo Kericho's JohnStone Ligare for the ball during the Round 15 KPL match played at the Kericho Green Stadium. Mwanzia made his debut alongside Victor Ashinga and Ronald Reagan.

As Mathare United battled Zoo Kericho to a barren draw in a Round 15 Kenyan Premier League match on Sunday 2 July, it was a special occasion for the trio of Victor Ashinga, Elijah Mwanzia and Ronald Reagan who were making their debut on the day.

Save for Mwanzia who joined the club in January 2017, Ashinga and Reagan were signed during the June transfer window as part of concerted efforts by head coach Francis Kimanzi to steady his ship in the second leg.

While Reagan was handed an unfamiliar role out on the right side of attack, Mwanzia and Ashinga were fielded in their traditional roles with the latter excelling as a defensive shield ahead of the back four.

Interestingly Ashinga went on to play the full 90 minutes, while Mwanzia and Reagan were substituted in the second half with Chris Ochieng’ and Harrison Mwendwa taking up their places.

Better show 

“I am very happy to have played my first match. It has not been easy because I have had to work very hard to reach this point. I was not impressed by my performance but I hope for a better show next time. My target is to work harder and help my team to win at least by scoring in the next three matches,” said Mwanzia.

On his part, Reagan reveled in the challenge of playing in a new position adding that he was gutted after failing to convert two clear cut chances that came his way.

Challenging

“I am used to playing as the target man but I think I did well as a winger. It was a bit challenging at the beginning but as the game wore on I grew more confident. I was disappointed not to score but my target still remains to score at least three goals in the first five matches I will feature in,” remarked the 27 year old.

For Ashinga, this cameo represented a return from a long injury layoff that saw him miss out the entire first leg and he had this to say:

Major boost

“It’s been long since I played and it felt good to be back on the pitch. My teammates have been encouraging me in training because they know what I can give and this has really pushed me. This has been a major boost. I want to work harder and help the team move up the table because we are not where we belong,” opined Ashinga.

Also read: Missed chances dominate Zoo-Mathare stalemate