Ali looking ahead


NAIROBI, Kenya, February 1- Mathare United coach Salim Ali is keen on forging a side that can deliver long term success in the Kenya Premier League (KPL).Ali told Capital Sport on Tuesday that winning the 2011 KPL title is not his primary concern as he embarks on creating a solid outfit bent on league dominance.

“If we talk about winning the league this season, it will put a lot of pressure on us because we have lost eight key players in the transfer window,” said Ali.

One of those key players including former Harambee Stars goalkeeper Duncan Ochieng who is now plying his trade down Thika Road at Tusker FC.

“Ochieng’s departure is a chance for me to see how my other keepers perform. We have Martin Musalia who played most of last season. We’ve also signed veteran Joseph Ruto from Posta Rangers, so I’m comfortable with the goalkeeping area,” said Ali.

The former champions finished sixth in the standings last season in a campaign that included an outstanding 18 draws and five losses.

“I have a lot of young players. We’ll try and do our best and finish better than we did last season,” said Ali.

Last year, Mathare were rocked by the suspension of former coach Francis Kimanzi who has since been hired as the new Sofapaka tactician.

“His (Kimanzi) was and individual decision. The club will remain club and individual will remain individual. We respect him and its his right to make his own decision,” said Ali.

Apart from Ruto, other players that have joined the Mathare stable include George Ochieng, Joseph Odhiambo, Titus Omondi and Victor Amboka.