‘Ingwe’ players must jealously protect image

Monday September 11 2017

AFC Leopards players celebrate at the end of their Sport Pesa Premier League match against Nzoia Sugar at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos on April 1, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |

AFC Leopards players celebrate at the end of their Sport Pesa Premier League match against Nzoia Sugar at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos on April 1, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By JOHN ASHIHUNDU
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As we fight to win the GOtv Shield and earn a ticket to represent Kenya in the Confederation Cup next year, we need to instil discipline in Ingwe players.

The technical bench must arrest reported cases of lack of discipline and make sure the players understand their professional duties and obligations.

Discipline is the most important thing in any professional sport, and we all know lack of it results in poor performance.

Ingwe players must know they are playing for a club that has produced serious professionals including Kenyan captain Victor Wanyama of Tottenham Hotspur, Boniface Ambani and Clifton Miheso among others, compared to our noisy rivals, the so-called “Green Army” who are known to blow hot and cold.

Attempts by K’Ogalo to match Ingwe’s record through George Odhiambo Blackberry, Dan Sserunkuma, Khalid Aucho, Rama Salim etc have failed. K’Ogalo have never produced any serious professional.

LACK THE AMBITION

At Ingwe, on the other hand, we have done well due to natural talent and determination.

However, there is a crop of Ingwe players, including Allan Kateregga, who lack the ambition and seem to only be playing for the money.

They must know they are not playing for coach Robert Matano or the fans and officials only, but are doing it mainly for their own professional development.

The average lifespan of players in our local league is 10 years.

The young stars should have ambitions beyond AFC Leopards which only offers them the platform to be snapped up by foreign scouts.

Those who don’t value this chance should not have left their villages to come to Nairobi but should have remained there to continue playing for small, village teams.

Lack of discipline ranges from misdemeanours such as improper dressing and lateness, to other, more grave failings.

AFC Leopards is a big club and the players must respect and jealously guard this hard-earned reputation. They should set their sights beyond Ingwe and the national team and be more ambitious.

Players like Dennis Sikhayi, Gabriel Andika, Robinson Kamura, Marcellus Ingosi, Mike Kibwage are some of the big prospects if they remain as sober as they are.

TARGETS BEYOND AFRICA

At 19 years, Kibwage is already brushing shoulders with big boys and although his ambition is to play for Zesco United in Zambia, Ingosi should set his targets beyond Africa.

Keziron Kizito is very good, Victor Majid, besides Wanyama, is the best offensive midfielder in the country today.

Meanwhile, Aziz Okaka has the speed and needs physical fitness while Vincent Oburu is arguably the best winger in the SportPesa Premier League today.

Samuel Ndung’u takes on any defenders at will and is a terror to opposing defences despite his lack of height while young Harun Nyakha knows how to spray passes.

Sikhayi is equally impressive, always determined and hardly putting a foot wrong in his position.

Burundian Alexis Kitenge has improved the forward line increasing the ratio of kicks towards the goal compared to when the team started the season.

I’m convinced that Ingwe has the right players who can take us back to the old days.

But there must be consistency and discipline as we build a team that will send shivers of terror down the spines of any opponent we face in future.