NAIROBI, Kenya, February 7- AFC Leopards coach, James Nandwa, his charges are ready to breach Ethiopian side Defence FC in their CAF Confederations Cup preliminary round first-leg match on Sunday at Nyayo National Stadium after working on Ingwe’s weaknesses.
Leopards will be making a comeback to the continental tournament after a three-year absence with another Ethiopian side, Banks SC, eliminating them at the preliminary phase on their last outing.
The Harambee Stars assistant coach is banking on his new recruits to supplement the efforts of their experience teammates to capitalise on home advantage.
“The Kenya Power Charity Cup was good training for us and it exposed our weakness and what we needed to work on.
“It was good losing to Mathare United, so that players realize they are not on top form as they thought. I’m happy to say that we are ready for Sunday’s match since we want to go past the first round and that will depend on our performance,” Nandwa told Capital Sport on Friday.
New signing, Joseph Shikiokoti, said they are ready for the Confederations challenge as he urged his colleagues to embrace teamwork.
“We should assist one another from defence, midfield, all the way to the attack and by doing this, we will perform well not only at the continental games but also in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) this season.
“I’m settled at Ingwe and since I gave Tusker FC a title, I want do the same to Leopards since it’s a place where I desired to be,” the former Stars and Brewers defender added.
The GOtv Shield champions boast of a squad where half of the members have featured in the competition for Ingwe or former sides, including James Situma, who captained Sofapaka to the third round of the competition in 2012.
Ugandan Mussa Mude, midfielder Peter Opiyo, winger Paul Were and forward Allan Wanga have also played at the second tier CAF tournament.
However, Nandwa confirmed that Stars striker, Wanga, will miss Sunday’s first-leg after picking a knee knock but his absence will not be a huge blow with last season KPL top-scorer, Jacob Keli and Noah Wafula, available upfront.
The Defence forces team enters into the continental match after staying in the cold for six years, but they cannot be dismissed after finishing fourth in the Ethiopian Premier League.
Leopards started preparing for the competition in January, pitching camp at Mumias Sports Complex before playing several build-up matches.
If they go past the preliminary stage, they are scheduled to take on the winner between South African side Supersport United and Gaborone from Bostwana.
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