For Leopards to excel, here is the winning formula

Monday October 30 2017

AFC Leopards starting XI pose for a team photo before facing Kariobangi Sharks in the 2017 Gotv Shield final on October 20, 2017 at Moi International Sports Centre, Nairobi. From left, Victor Majid, Vincent Oburu, Salim Abdalla, Dennis Sikhayi, Duncan Otieno, Lewis Wanami, Whyvonne Isutza, Musa Mudde, Aziz Okaka, Ray Omondi and goalkeeper Gabriel Andika (front-centre). PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

AFC Leopards starting XI pose for a team photo before facing Kariobangi Sharks in the 2017 Gotv Shield final on October 20, 2017 at Moi International Sports Centre, Nairobi. From left, Victor Majid, Vincent Oburu, Salim Abdalla, Dennis Sikhayi, Duncan Otieno, Lewis Wanami, Whyvonne Isutza, Musa Mudde, Aziz Okaka, Ray Omondi and Gabriel Andika (front-centre). PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  

By JOHN ASHIHUNDU
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AFC Leopards are GOtv Shield champions for a record 11 times, but the team management should use the current good will to source for funds early enough to cater for signing at least five experienced players.

Pre-season preparations and Caf match logistics as we wait to know who will be the opponents in mid-December when the 2018 Caf draws will be out.

With the transfer period coming in the next couple of weeks, the financial implication must be done properly to rescue the club’s financial condition.

Immediately after the excise, I will, on behalf of the club members, ask to be told how much money was used to bring each player. I’m aware that most KPL clubs have been doing that for the purpose of accountability.

But for many years, AFC Leopards club officials did not have a clue how the team recruitment was done, despite one long time official who has become notorious and very active on duty only in transfer negotiations.

This particular official has been singled out for becoming very active when the transfer period is underway and disappears once the deal is in place, while other officials paid little attention. What a strange situation!

It might sound crazy that I’m putting the club records public, but it can also sometimes be necessary, especially to the followers of Ingwe.

For the records, Ingwe won the first edition sponsored by GOtv in 2013 and this year’s tournament was the last edition sponsored by GOtv since next year the tournament will be under new sponsorship.

This year’s GOtv journey was for Ingwe to lose as they cruised past lower tire clubs. Kariobangi Sharks, whom they beat 2-0 in the final, is the KPL club Ingwe came up against.

HIGHER STANDARDS

All the other big names, including Gor Mahia, Tusker, Ulinzi were knockout in the early stages of the tournament.

Ingwe management needs to now set higher standards for next year and it will be imperative if 2018 season priorities should be winning the 13th KPL title and also reach group stages of the 2018 Caf Confederation Cup whose calendar runs from mid-February to May 2018.

To achieve here, Ingwe must march or out pass Gor Mahia credentials in terms of player quality and also plan early enough by having enough resources to meet all the budgets of next year competitions.

The club should also consider outdoing the league champions player-for-player in each position to be able to go for top honours next season

In terms of foreign players, Ingwe should only go for top notch players and not just ordinary foreign players with nothing to offer to the squad.

Gor Mahia have already set the bar high in terms of recruiting high profile foreign players since most of them are first team players in their national teams.

Karim Nizigiyimana, Jacques Tuyisenge, Geofrey Walusimbi, Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza were all spotted from either Cecafa Club Championships or Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.

Meddie Kagere too is a top player if not ineligible to play for the Rwandan national team.

To return Ingwe back to where we belong, our technical bench must sign two experienced strikers in the mould of Kepha Aswani, who is currently banging in goals left, right and center for Nakumatt.

I’ve been made to understand that Aswani’s contract was not renewed due disciplinary issues.

Granted, discipline is a key ingredient for success in any sport, but I still believe whoever allowed Aswani to leave the den made a mistake.

The player only needed guidance and counselling. The good news is that Aswani is among players willing to come back to help Ingwe.