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Zapata hints at minimal June transfer activity

AFC Leopards head coach Radolfo Zapata passes instructions to his players at half time during their Hull City Challenge match against Gor Mahia at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on May 1, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 9- AFC Leopards head coach Rodolfo Zapata wants to have a consistent squad playing together for the entire season and has hinted he will not be actively involved in the June transfer window.

AFC has been one of the teams notorious for massive squad changes, but the Argentine believes they have a competent squad good enough to challenge for honors and told Capital Sport he will only bring in a new player if someone leaves.

“I have been with the squad for two weeks now and I think the players are competent enough. We have a squad of young talented players and I trust in their quality. We will not do many changes. The only time we can make a change is when someone leaves,” Zapata who joined the team last month noted.

“If we do a consistent job with these young players I know we will be somewhere up in history at the end of the season,” further noted the coach.

The coach has also hinted he will not go in for an assistant coach anytime soon saying he is pleased with his backroom staff despite the exit of Dennis Kitambi who he says has done an exemplary job at the club.

AFC Leopards coach Dennis Kitambi receives the March SJAK/Fidelity Insurance coach of the month award. PHOTO/Courtesy

“I think I like my staff the way they are right now and my job is going to be progressive. I don’t want to make many changes in the team and confuse the players. Coach Dennis did a good job here so I have to keep what he has done while trying to improve the team but in a progressive way,” the tactician further explained.

AFC currently sits fifth in the Kenyan Premier League standings having accrued 21 points off 14 games, but the team has had a rough patch failing to win any of their last six games.

Zapata though is optimistic that they will bounce into winning ways soon, noting that being his first full week handling the team, he will seek to address tactical areas he feels need improvement.

In his first match in charge against Chemelil Sugar last weekend, Zapata picked up a point in a 0-0 draw, the second consecutive such result after Gor Mahia’s tie in the Hull City challenge earlier in the week.

AFC Leopards striker Marvin Omondi leads team-mates in celebration during a past Kenyan Premier League match. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

“The positive thing is that we haven’t conceded a goal which was a problem before. This was among the first things I wanted to improve. In the last two games we created a lot of opportunities but we didn’t finish. That is the next thing I will work on. I know with the quality of players we have the goal will come soon,” the Argentine further noted.

He has explained he would want the team to play a ‘beautiful’ brand of football, urging the Ingwe faithful to be patient as he patents the Argentine way of playing to aid the club into their first league title in two decades.

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“Everybody wants to win and that is my mentality as well so we will do our best. But I believe that to win, you have to play good football,” the coach further said.

Ingwe will tackle struggling Nakumatt in their next fixture on Saturday at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

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