NAIROBI, December 1- Veteran midfield general, Charles Okwemba and former Gor Mahia centre-back Eric Masika are among seven players axed by local giants, AFC Leopards after an unsatisfactory 2014 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) campaign.
The club that slipped from second to sixth in the just concluded season have moved in to cull their squad as they prepare for a title tilt next season according to a statement posted on their website on Monday.
Others who will leave the club upon expiry of their current deals include Oscar Kadenge, Augustine Etemesi, Khaleed Juman, Kenneth Wendo and custodian Patrick Matasi with Okwemba, who was a bright spark in midfield rumoured to be on his way to newly promoted Posta Rangers.
“As we aim to strengthen and build a strong side ahead of the 2015 season, AFC Leopards has announced that it will not be renewing contracts of seven of its players at the end of this year.
“The seven players whose contract runs out as from December 31st are not part of head coach Pieter Hendrick De Jongh’s plans for next season and the club would like to wish them all the best in their future endeavours,” the statement from the club that reconvenes for training ahead of the new season on Wednesday read.
“We are not happy with the position we finished the league. We want to have a head start in our preparations for 2015 and therefore we have very little time to waste” the Dutch head coach who was also linked with the axe last week is quoted by the club website.
The wounded Leopards are on 41 points in sixth having played 29 matches pending the resolution of their now infamous fixture against Sony Sugar yet to be resolved over a fortnight after the KPL campaign ended and five month since it was originally set to be played in Awendo in August.
From chasing champions and archrivals Gor Mahia to second in the title race last season, 2014 has been an unforgettable year for Ingwe with failing pitch performances punctuated by reports of none payment of players dues and unrest among the club’s executive committee.