Football Football

AFC Leopards set to sign two Ugandans

AFC Leopards head coach Robert Matano with Team manager Gilbert Selebwa after their Kenyan Premier League match against Nakumatt on November 5, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 29- GOtv Shield champions AFC Leopards are on the verge of signing two Ugandan players as head coach Robert Matano begins to rebuild the team ahead of the new season and particularly their participation in the CAF Confederations Cup.

Chairman Dan Mule has revealed that Matano had been on a scouting mission in Uganda and identified two players who they will engage in contractual talk with the view of completing their capture by Friday.

“He (Matano) was there twice and he has come back with two players who he says fit into the frame he wants. We will talk to them plus their clubs as well and hopefully by Friday we will have finalized the transfers,” Mule told Capital Sport on Wednesday.

Matano has been known for his keen scouting eye and is vividly remembered for sighting and signing the likes of Khalid Aucho, Robert Omunuk and Andrew Ssekayombya while at Tusker in 2012.

AFC Leopards head coach Robert Matano feeds instructions to midfielder Harun Nyakha during his side’s Kenyan Premier League clash against Kariobangi Sharks on October 7, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Meanwhile, the tactician has a verbal agreement to renew his contract at the club for a further two years with Mule confirming that the only bit remaining is the paperwork but the coach will be part of the club in the new season.

At the same time, the club has within its ranks two West Africans; a Nigerian striker and Cameroonian midfielder training with the rest of the squad and after assessment the technical bench will make a decision on whether or not to sign them.

Matano insisted that the club’s management has to give him a free hand to bring in the players he wishes if he is to make a mark in the league next season especially after merely surviving the axe of relegation.

“At AFC we need quality players; players who know what it means to play for the club. I will work with the players who I feel will bring results to the team and the management has to know that is what I want,” Matano said in a previous interview.

-Players to exit-

AFC Leopards goal keeper Ian Otieno is among players to leave the den. Photo/COURTESY

While the club is continuing with recruitment of new players, several current members of the squad are set to leave.

Mule has confirmed that goalkeeper Ian Otieno will leave the club after his contract runs out at the end of December with Andrew Tololwa also expected to follow the same route. Defender Joshua Mawira will however earn a six-month extension.

“Mawira will be leaving for Sweden in June for studies and therefore will only have a six month extension to his contract. For Ian, I don’t think we will renew his contract, same as Tololwa,” Mule further added.

Burundian striker Alex Kitenge is not expected to sign a permanent contract after his loan deal from Bujumbura based Olympic Atletico expires next month.

AFC Leopards celebrate with Andrew Tololwa after the midfielder scored the lone goal in their 1-0 win over Nakumatt FC on November 5, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Matano was categorical that he is not interested in retaining the services of the Burundian after failing to impress in the six months he has been hunting at the den. Ghanaian striker Gilbert Fiamenyo will also not be expected to return.

Striker Allan Katterega who was loaned out to Kampala City Council Authority also has his contract ending and despite being in blistering form for the Ugandan club, he is not expected to renew his deal at Ingwe after falling out with Matano.

Meanwhile, winger Samuel Ndung’u signed in January from Muhoroni Youth has been a target for Mathare United though Mule said the Slum Boys are yet to table a formal bid.

“The coach will give us his decision. If he (Ndung’u) is still in his plans then there is no reason to sell him. He is still under contract and if Mathare are serious in their ambition, they are open to talk to us officially,” Mule further opined.