NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 17 – Mathare United head coach Francis Kimanzi has ruled out a return for midfielder Roy Syamba from injury until next season, despite the midfielder already having started his rehabilitation process.
Syamba, has been suffering from a recurring knee injury that put him off the squad for the last four months, his last piece of action in the green and yellow stripes of Mathare being the first match in April against Ushuru.
“It’s a long term injury so we don’t expect to have him this season. He has already started rehabilitation but this is the wrong time to bring him on. To be honest I am not in a position to force him back. There’s time because he’s still young. It is always unlucky for a player to suffer such a long term injury but the good thing is that he will come back,” Kimanzi said.
Syamba had began the season on a high, helping the team to a run of four wins in seven matches and his form had seen him earn a call up to the national team.
Meanwhile, the team is expected to welcome back midfielder Eric Johannah this week after spending the last fortnight on trials in Swedish top tier side Allmänna Idrottsklubben (AIK).
The Swedish club decided against signing the 22-year old KPL midfielder of the year, but said they will continue monitoring him.
“He made two U21 matches and a large number of training sessions for us, so we’ve definitely got a clear picture. But we can say that it was not what we were looking for, at least not in this window. We sought a more offensive midfielder that can also be forward which we took in,” AIK’s chief scout Tobias Ackerman told Swedish football portal FotbollDirekt.se.
It will be a big boost for Mathare to have their second best scorer back in action but Kimanzi does not assure he will walk straight back into the starting team, with youngster Cliff Nyakeya having been called up in the last three matches.
Mathare are placed third on the KPL standings on 34 points, seven behind leaders Tusker, but Kimanzi says they are not under any pressure to win the title.
He reiterates the club’s main objective this year was to perform better than last season and with that already achieved their focus is to improve in every match.
Their next assignment will be a home tie against relegation threatened Nairobi City Stars and with the difficulty of this match being all clear to Kimanzi, he has called on his players to up their game.
“There are areas definitely we need to improve on. We need to look at different ways of executing set pieces because we get so many in a match but we don’t make use of them well. We have the quality of players who can make up something good but we need to train constantly on it,” the coach added.