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Kimanzi has no regrets in going for youthful team

Mathare United head coach Francis Kimanzi gestures during a past Kenyan Premier League match at the Thika Stadium. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 15 – Mathare United head coach Francis Kimanzi has no regrets settling for a young squad this season despite performing dismally in the first leg of the 2017 Kenyan Premier League (KPL).

Kimanzi, the most qualified coach in the East African region with UEFA Level B license, has experienced a bumpy first leg to see the 2008 KPL champions languish at the relegation zone, sitting second last at the bottom of the 18-team log with 17 points.

However, the former Harambee Stars head coach has ruled out any chance of Mathare signing experienced players even in feature, believing in building a young team.

“You can do nothing on a player who is out of contract because it depends on the offer the player gets from other clubs. I am confident of maintaining the team next season because most of them have long contracts running,” Kimanzi told Capital Sport on Tuesday after the team’s morning session at their Goan Institute training ground.

Mathare United head coach Francis Kimanzi passes a tactical point to his players during their match against Posta Rangers on April 17, 2017.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Kimanzi, who has also coached Sofapaka and Tusker FC, challenged other KPL sides to believe in youthful players and give them playing time even though it might cost them some points.

“It is wrong not to have trust in these kids. We need to take risks and clubs must trust the young generation in order to have great teams tomorrow rather than bring old players from other county to play.’’

Former Laiser Hill Academy captain David Owino echoed his coach by ruling out any transfer move next season.

Owino is one of the players featuring in the KPL for the first time and has been consistent in midfield for Mathare.

“The possibility of me moving to another Premier League side is close to impossible, for now I can only consider an internationally move. For now I am concentrating in the playing for Mathare,” Owino asserted.

At the beginning of his second spell at Mathare early this year, Kimazi’s side faced a setback when major players left the club in mass exodus to force the renowned coach resort in to building a new team.

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Mathare United, who will be seeking to avoid relegation, next hosts Zoo Kericho at the Ruaraka Spots Club on Sunday.

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