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Rupia has attracted interest outside – Kimani

AFC Leopards striker Elvis Rupia sprints during a training session at the Kenya Technical Trainers’ Institute in Gigiri, Nairobi on March 4, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 5 – AFC Leopards head coach Anthony ‘Modo’ Kimani has disclosed that striker Elvis Rupia has continued to attract interest from teams both in and out of the country, but he hopes to somehow keep him once his loan spell from Wazito lapses at the end of the season.

Rupia joined Ingwe in mid-season on loan from Wazito and has proved to be an immediate hit, scoring four goals in five league matches, most of them being match winners.

“His contribution has been immense since he joined and he has done well not only scoring but also in general. He has done his defensive duties really well and he is always our first line of defense when we lose the ball,” Kimani told Capital Sport.

Rupia had been touted to join AFC in 2018 during his free-scoring season with Nzoia Sugar but ended up moving to Zambia where he joined Power Dynamos.

However, that move didn’t yield enough fruit as he couldn’t replicate the same form he had at Nzoia, leading to his sojourn back home.

AFC Leopards striker Elvis Rupia controls the ball during a training session at the Kenya Technical Trainers’ Institute in Gigiri, Nairobi on March 4, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Upon return, he was snapped up by the free-spending Wazito and managed to score five goals in the first half of the campaign.

Competition for places at the club led him to draw back the move he rejected 18 months earlier, joining Ingwe on loan.

And his immediate impact has left Kimani smiling ear to ear, but he knows the reality that he might not have him next season as they do not own the player.

“He is a great player and any coach would want to have him in his team. But sadly the decision is not up to me; it is for him and his parent club to make a decision but I would definitely want to see him playing for AFC Leopards next season,” he states.

AFC Leopards striker Elvis Rupia jokes with teammate Jaffary Owiti during a training session at the Kenya Technical Trainers’ Institute in Gigiri, Nairobi on March 4, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Adding; “But I know it will be difficult because even now he has started attracting interest from some clubs outside and if he keeps his form I know it will be difficult to retain him. We cannot compete in the financial aspect and we might struggle to match the offers he will receive.”

Kimani believes Rupia will play a crucial role for Ingwe when they tackle arch-rivals Gor Mahia in the Mashemeji Derby on Sunday at the Kasarani Stadium where they will be seeking a first win over Gor on the 11th time of asking.

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