CAREER GROWTH

KPL is tough, says Sofapaka's Nigerian midfielder

Other international players at the club are Nicholas Sebwato from Uganda and Joel Noukueu from Cameroon

In Summary

•The Nigerian midfielder made his debut for ‘Batoto Ba Mungu’ two weeks ago during their one all draw against Mathare United after signing a two year long deal from Lagos Atletico.

•The midfielder believes the Kenyan league is tough and offers the best ingredient for career growth and will stiffen him to become a revered defensive midfielder

 

Sebastian Ikekhai shields the ball from Mathare's James Kinyanjui in a recent KPL match
Sebastian Ikekhai shields the ball from Mathare's James Kinyanjui in a recent KPL match
Image: COURTESY

Hardly two matches into his Kenyan Premier League sojourn, Sofapaka holding midfielder Sebastian Ikekhai has labelled the competition as 'tough'.

The Nigerian import made his debut for Batoto Ba Mungu two weeks ago during their one-all draw against Mathare United after joining on a two-year deal from Lagos Atletico.

Ikekhai opened his goal account for Sofapaka in their 3-1 win over defending champions Gor Mahia at the Narok Stadium, firing a long-range shot past a fully-stretched David Mapigano.

But despite the dream start, he believes the Kenyan league is tough and offers the best ingredient for career growth and will stiffen him to become a revered defensive midfielder.

“I am just two weeks old here but I have observed that the top flight is tough. It is not easy to grind out maximum points as there are no weak teams here. Players who ply their trade in the league are fast and physical as opposed to those in the Nigerian league," said Ikekhai.

"I ticked the right box by joining Sofapaka and I believe by the time I will be exiting, I will have transitioned to a midfielder who can play in any league,” he said.

Ikekhai’s sentiments were echoed by his compatriot at Sofapaka, Promise Chinonso, who bagged a brace against Gor. Chinonso, who is targeting double digits in the remaining league matches termed the defenders he has faced in the last two matches as firm.

“KPL is tough even though I am trying to adapt. In Nigeria, I was used to weaving past defenders before putting the ball past the net but here it's different here. Defenders here will bully you and generally, there is a lot of running both in training and on match days,” said the 19-year old forward.

Sofapaka shopped five foreigners last month and the move have paid off after an instant impact from the new signings.

Apart from Chinonso and Ikekhai, the former Shield Cup holders lured Jedinak Ameyaw from Ghana and the forward has not disappointed, finding the back of the net twice in three matches. Other international players at the club are Nicholas Sebwato from Uganda and Joel Noukueu from Cameroon.