NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 24 – Tusker FC will begin their Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League title defense on Sunday when they take on AFC Leopards at the Thika Sub County Stadium, and coach Robert Matano is optimistic they will start well.
The brewers also began their season against Ingwe last season, a match they lost by a solitary goal.
But after a positive start to the season with victory in the CAF Champions League first preliminary round as well as the FKF Super Cup, Matano believes they are mentally prepared for what promises to be a gruelling season.
“We need to work hard and continue with how we have started. It has been a positive start to the season and we need to maintain that tempo. We will take game by game and I am glad that we won the Super Cup. Now all that is behind us now and the focus is on the league,” said the coach.
He adds; “I am confident in my team and the players we have brought on board. We have worked to try and build some synergy and cohesion.”
Tusker have brought in 12 new players into the squad and during the Super Cup, the tactician rotated his squad giving more of the new players and opportunity to play.
“We need to have everyone in check and ready. It was important for those who didn’t get an opportunity to play in the Champions League to get some minutes because we have to build on our squad depth,” said the coach.
Among the new players who impressed against Gor Mahia in the Super Cup include Protus Kirenge, a central defender signed from Tanzanian side Namungo FC as well as midfielder Clyde Senaji who returned to the club after a stint with AFC Leopards.
Tusker are seeking to clinch their 13th Premier League title to move second in the all-time list and the tactician said they will take a game at a time.
“The league is a marathon and not a sprint. We have to go a match at a time and everyone must be ready for every game. We have to work as a team and help each other to reach our targets,” said the coach.
After AFC Leopards, Tusker will switch their attention to the CAF Champions League with a first round tie against Egyptian giants Zamalek SC beckoning.