Bandari ready for life without Shikhalo – Mwalala

Bandari FC head coach Bernard Mwalala believes his squad is strong enough to mount a serious assault in continental football this season despite losing its first choice goalkeeper Farouk Shikalo.

The coastal-based side will launch their CAF Confederation Cup campaign on Saturday with a tricky home fixture against Sudan’s Al Ahli Shandi without the dependable shot-stopper who joined Tanzanian side Yanga SC

Mwalala is relishing the Shikalo-less Bandari challenge saying he has assembled a good arsenal ahead of busy season.

As part of their preparations ahead of their return to the continental scene, the Dockers were on Wednesday taken through their paces at Jamhuri High School grounds in Nairobi.

“We started our CAF training with our pre-season tour in South Africa and everyone is in good shape as there is no injury concern and as much as we lost Shikalo, we are a strong side to represent the country in International games,” said Mwalala.

Michael Wanyika who was recently called up into the Harambee Stars provisional squad prior to the Africa Nations Championships tie against Tanzania, will be highly looked upon to fill in the shoes of Shikalo.

However, Mwalala has hinted the club has secured the services of one foreign shot-stopper whom they expect in the country soon to link up with the squad.

The team has signed three new players so far; Danson Chetambe from Zoo FC, Alex Luganji from Nairobi Stima and Cliff Kasuti from Sofapaka.

At the same time, Mwalala has rallied up the club’s supporters to come out in large numbers to motivate the players as tickets will be going for a hundred shillings only.

“Our match in Kasarani will be very vital and I call upon our fans to turn up in large numbers to cheer our boys. We have to win this tie if we want to go to the next round,” he underscored.

The Sudan side is expected in the country on Thursday morning and will hold their first training session at the match venue on Friday afternoon. The return leg will be played on August 23 in Khartoum, Sudan.