Football Football

Injuries ravage Leopards den


WANGA-INGWENAIROBI, Kenya, January 23 – AFC Leopards might be without seven key players who are nursing injuries ahead of the February 2 Kenya Power Charity Cup at Nyayo National Stadium.

Speaking to Capital Sport from Mumias on Thursday, coach James Nandwa, confirmed prolific striker Allan Wanga, winger Paul Were, new signing Jacob Keli, keeper Martin Musalia, defenders Jackson Saleh and Anthony Kimani, are still recovering from either hamstring, groin or knee injuries they picked at the beginning of the year during the Mapinduzi Cup.

“I thank our fans who believed in us and voted heavily for our team to participate at this year’s Charity Cup, which we missed out in the inaugural one.

“I want to win the Cup since that’s the only way we can show appreciation to our loyal fans, but if we don’t win, it will also be a very good preparation ahead of the Confederations Cup,” the Harambee Stars assistant coach told.

Leopards who are sharpening their claws in the Western region for a two weeks camp, will host Ethiopian side Defence on February 9 in Nairobi.

Ingwe are making a comeback to the continental scene after four years absence where they bowed out in the first round.

Nandwa, is optimistic by the time they kick-off their continental campaign, he will have a full house.

“We have the advantage of having many players who can play at the same position, so if the injured players don’t heal within time, we will give others chance to play.

“Kimani’s operation went on very well and will be ruled out for eight weeks, for the Charity Cup we will balance the team by mixing new and old players.

“Our main focus is on the Ethiopia game and that is the major reason why we are camping here in Mumias. The team is well prepared and our target is to go past the preliminary round.

“The new players have already gelled and that keeps us in a very good position to contest for League and defend GOtv Shield among other domestic titles that are available this season,” he added.

Ingwe plays Mathare United in the first match of the one day tournament, before Gor Mahia battle it out with defending champions Sofapaka.

The first derby of the year might be witnessed only if K’Ogalo and Ingwe win at the knock out phase.

The GOtv champions open their Kenyan Premier League campaign against KCB at Nyayo National Stadium.