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ASHIHUNDU: Finally, boss Shikanda now steering us in right direction

Sunday June 21 2020
mudavadi_pix

Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi (third left) hands over a dummy cheque of Sh633,000 to AFC Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda (third right) on June 5, 2020 to help the club start processing documents for their piece of land that is located in Kasarani area. They are flanked by players and officials. PHOTO | POOL

By JOHN ASHIHUNDU

Congratulations to Dan Shikanda and his management team for working tirelessly to get us sponsors. We don’t take it for granted.

May the Bet High Kenya Limited sponsorship be the first of many, and we expect it to translate into success on the pitch by making us snatch the league title from K’Ogalo next season to make it 14 wins for us.

After operating without sponsors for one year, AFC Leopards signed a Sh40 million-a-year sponsorship deal with the betting firm where the club will receive Sh120 million over three years.

Gor Mahia will receive Sh55 million from the same betting company and Sh165 million over the three years.

Our amount is nowhere near enough, but it will enable Ingwe to get claws back as BetSafe now becomes our new shirt sponsors after SportPesa closed shop August last year, citing government interference.

We thank Bet High Limited for their commitment to support the two super powers that enjoy massive following in the country, having won the league title 31 times between them.

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To effectively run Leopards, we need a budget of at least Sh100 million per season, but the current boost from BetSafe ranks as a step in the right direction.

Our players have struggled financially for the entire 2019/2020 season, especially after the league was halted mid-March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But I think AFC Leopards will have a successful 2020/2021 season.

Already, Shikanda has promised us an interesting season ahead as he continues building a team capable of challenging for the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) crown we last won in 1998. 

In his plans, Leopards will sign a few senior players to bolster the current squad that has largely young players.

As he hopes to steer Ingwe back to our lost glory, coach Anthony Kimani is looking for at least four experienced players and blend them with the youthful stars we have.

Leopards used young players who could not come straight to the starting line-up, but had a huge impact.

Ingwe has been competitive since the arrival of Shikanda in June last year we were seventh when the league was stopped and Shikanda believes we have to strengthen the team.

We thank players who joined the team for their contributions, including Elvis Rupia who helped improve our striking force.

The former Nzoia Sugar FC came just when we needed him the most, a few days after we lost John Mark Makwatta who moved to Zesco United in Zambia in January when he was leading the KPL chart with 13 goals.

Other players who gave a good account of themselves include Austin Odhiambo, Collins Shichenje, Clyde Senaji, Washington Munene and Hansel Ochieng.

We thank individuals and club members who came to the club’s rescue when the team face difficulties in a season we played without sponsors.

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