NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 20- Kenyan Premier League champions Tusker FC have cancelled their planned pre-season camp in Turkey owing to the current political instability in the European country.
Chief Executive Officer Charles Obiny says they are disappointed the plan did not pan out but remains confident the local preparations they have had will suffice as they get ready for their title defense and return to continental football.
“It was a concern from the company because of the instability currently there. Everything had been approved but unfortunately, we had to cancel last minute,” Obiny said.
The team will now play a friendly match against Ugandan side Vipers next Wednesday at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu. Obiny says they will also play against two local teams, including National Super League side Palos.
The brewers have been training at the Limuru Bata grounds as their preferred home ground in Ruaraka has been closed down for renovation.
At the same, they have snapped former Bandari winger Victor Ndinya on a three-year deal as well as defender Marlon Tangauzi who has been playing in Uganda. Also joining the squad is Tanzanian winger Abdul Hassan from Vodacom Premier League side African Lyon.
“We might add one more player but that is the squad we will work with this season. It is a strong squad though we were not able to get all of our transfer targets,” Obiny added.
Tusker will be facing Gor Mahia on January 29 in the DSTV Super Cup ahead of their first leg continental tie against Mauritian champions AS Port-Louis 2000.
Meanwhile, Kenya’s other representatives in continental football Ulinzi Stars will travel to Mombasa this weekend where they will set up a three-day camp including a friendly match against Bandari on Sunday.
The soldiers who have been training at their military base in Lanet, Nakuru played their first pre-season friendly last Wednesday, winning 2-0 against Muhoroni Youth.
“Bandari will be a tougher test and it will give us a brighter picture of how far we have gone in our preparation. I am impressed with how the players have been training. Competition is very tough and everyone wants to impress to get some playing time,” Ulinzi head coach Benjamin Nyangweso said.
The soldiers will return to Nakuru on Monday where they are expected to increase the intensity of their training with an eye on impressing in the CAF Confederations Cup.
Ulinzi begin their campaign against Libyan side Al Hilal Benghazi in the first round. If they make it through, they will face Egypt’s Smouha in the first round.
Tusker squad for CAF Champions League
Goalkeepers: Duncan Ochieng, David Okello, Bryne Omondi
Defenders: Lloyd Wahome, James Situma, Collins Shivachi, Martin Kizza, Shafik Batambuze, Vincent Omumbo, Eugine Asike, Marlon Tangauzi, Samuel Olwande
Midfielders: Hashim Ssempala, Cercidy Lumumba, Humphrey Mieno, Noah wafula, Anthony Ndolo, Danson Kago, Jackson Macharia, Brian Osumba, Sydney Ochieng, Victor Ndinya, Abdul Hassan
Strikers: Allan Wanga, Clifford Alwanga, Stephen Owusu, Michael Khamati.