That ‘Every battle is won before its fought’ is a popular saying in warfare and this saying has gained much prominence for its relevance in recent past within the KPL Top 8.
In football, a game that knows no logic, predictions or favourites, the saying would pass for a mere psyching up or remain anything more than just a saying.
Futaa.com found this ringing true when we caught up with the new KPL Top 8 title winning coach Tom Juma; the former Kenyan international's maiden trophy coming in form of a cup tie triumph which comes as no surprise if his past is anything to go by.
The Sweden trained coach formerly with Division One side Administration Police has an amazing trail of a tactician with a considerable success in cup tie games.
Quizzed over the demands of any cup tie and their final
clash against Gor, Juma had this to say.
-Planning is a key aspects of approaching any game since you have to know your opponent, his tactics and roll out your game plan accordingly, Juma told futaa.com after their triumph.
On Gor Mahia
-Our plan in the final was to stay in the game as long as possible. We knew we would get our chance as the game unfolded. I believe you can’t play a game without creating even a single scoring opportunities not even in the so called ‘Sunday league’ match. We had our opponents’ strength in mind. Gor Mahia is a strong team, we just needed to hold them in the opening half and hope our chance would come in the second.
Thanks to the one off game cup finale, it came to pass. Muhoroni silverware dreams did come true though through a test of endurance in that troubled KPL Top 8 final clash on Sunday 16 October at the Nyayo National Stadium.
Juma run-ins in Shield Cup
Tom Juma added a Top 8 Cup winner beside his name, but what is little known to many is that he perhaps had to dig in deep to land the coveted title prior to the match which his team won against the currents.
Under his tenure with Administration Police, Juma's first stab at the Shield Cup pit him against both formidable and the ‘not so tough’ opposition but he made his mark as much as he circumstances permitted.
In 2014, the team's run in the tourney wasn't to last as Sofapaka stopped them at the quarters finals stage.
The team will braced again for second asking a year later and the law enforcers proved well taught by past experience. For every defeat, miss and disappointment there lessons learnt; Juma charges unleashed a near giant-killing run with Isiolo based, Taqwa, holders Sofapaka and Fresha FC among their casualty.
-I played them more than once. Every match against them
and other teams too; be it defeats suffered or wins, served as a learning curve for me, Juma said.
At the top of the year, Tom Juma would later end at Muhoroni Youth as an assistant to James Omondi after being priory linked with a move to AFC Leopards. While at the club, another chance to try further test his Cup tie prowess in another level came handy. He was pivotal in guiding them over the two legged clash against Ulinzi Stars to set finale date with Gor.
The coach now has his eyes on the job hoping to end the season on a high, a result that will see them playing in the tourney once again next season .
-We now have the league before us to focus on. We have the taste of how it feels to play in the Top 8 and we look forward to storming into the bracket and playing again in it,he concluded.
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