In Summary
  • By holding on to our best, we are right on track in building and establishing a strong and formidable squad that will work in harmony
  • Leopards did not go for big names, but the players’ brought in have a fighting spirit
  • The team looks eager to write their own chapter in Ingwe’s history books

The plan to keep our key players at AFC Leopards is good news for the 2020/2021 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) season.

By holding on to our best, we are right on track in building and establishing a strong and formidable squad that will work in harmony.

Club chairman Dan Shikanda has said that Ingwe will not surrender any good player easily. The club plans to sign new players depending on the need.

Last week, Shikanda assured Ingwe fans that coach Anthony Kimani and his technical staff are working on long and short-term programmes that can only be achieved by keeping our star players.

The former AFC central defender and captain, Kimani has shown desire to work with club for a longer period as he aims to bring back the team’s lost glory.

Shikanda says no one has approached Ingwe seeking to sign any of their top players. He dismissed the claims as rumours and propaganda.

There have been reports that Leopards creative midfielder, Austin Ochieng and Said Tsuma are being pursued by K’Ogalo among other teams.

Despite Ingwe’s financial woes, the 2020/21 KPL season will be our year of glory. We’ll be looking to end our 21-year title drought after the last win in 1998. Before last season was suspended owing to the coronavirus pandemic, Leopards undeservedly lost to Gor Mahia at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on March 9.

The Sports Dispute Tribunal (SDT) has temporarily suspended Football Kenya Federation (FKF’s) decision to cancel the league season. SDT chairman John Ohaga wants all the 18 clubs competing in the top-flight league to have their say in the matter.

Leopards did not go for big names, but the players’ brought in have a fighting spirit. They had an impressive run, going several matches unbeaten until that painful loss to Gor.

During the Betway Cup matches, Ingwe’s youthful stars showed great potential. The departure of a few top stars from the club including John Mark Makwatta, Tresor Ndikumana and Soter Kayumba has hardly been felt at the Den.

The current crop of players at Leopards resemble the squad of the 70s, 80s and 90s. Striker Elvis Rupia and midfielder Austine Odhiambo have settled quickly in their positions. The team looks eager to write their own chapter in Ingwe’s history books. Before the season was halted, Rupia had promised to continue pursuing the Golden Boot Award.

Makwatta was leading with 13 goals after 18 matches when he joined Zambian giants Zesco United in January.

Last year, under Rwandan coach Andre Casa Mbungo, Leopards conceded 39 goals in the league and finished 11th on the table. But things are looking good at the Den.

It would have been good to play K’Ogalo one more time this season, and give them, the thumping they deserve after narrowly escaping on March 9.

Fans who stood with the team should not relent but maintain the spirit.

jashihundu@ke.nationmedia.com