Leopards, Mathare ready for league start

AFC Leopards, Mathare United and Vihiga United are all ready for their opening fixtures of the Football Kenya Federation Premier League which were pushed by a week to Nov 28 due to logistical reasons.

AFC Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda has said that they have shelved their plans to move their pre-season camp to Western Kenya ahead of the league start.

Shikanda is confident that the Iten camp and high profiled build-up matches against KCB, Tusker and Ushuru FC have given the Czech Republican a perfect platform to gauge his players, inject his formations and sharpen them ready to claw.

“It is too close and this uncertainty has forced us to fold our arms and wait. That means that we now cannot travel to Western to camp and so we will be preparing just from the base. Our head coach has been with the boys for some time now since joining the club and so has overseen a number of friendlies and so nothing can stop us from being ready.

“Although we have not finalized our preparations fully by not being able to go to Western, everything is okay and I am sure the team is up to task to deliver results,” Shikanda said.

On their part, Mathare and Vihiga tacticians Salim Ali and Sammy Okoth despite noting that the Covid-19 pandemic has been their greatest undoing, they are ready to line-up their squads to do their best in the new season.

Ali has bemoaned the lack of opportunity to have trials for the team which is their tradition thanks to the corona restrictions from the ministry of health since sporting activities were put to a halt in March after the first case was announced.

“This time round has been different in terms of training which is contrary to Mathare United’s way of doing things by holding trials to tap young talents out there. All has been due to corona. Unless we embark to full training without restrictions then now we can set our target,” Ali said.

According to Vihiga United head coach Sammy Okoth, corona has also made it hard to assemble all his arsenals he could wish.

“When Covid-19 first case was announced in the country, some players did not even return to training upto now due to fear. However I have full trust in this youthful side whom I hope they will grab the opportunity to showcase their talent and work hard in the top league,” Okoth said.

Leopards will clash with visiting Western Stima while Mathare lock horns with Kakamega Homeboyz at home and Vihiga will be welcomed with a pressure cooker tie against Ulinzi Stars.