For the last couple of weeks, acute financial problems have dogged AFC Leopards although the team has been able to grind out good results in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL).
To make things worse, Ingwe have lately been playing without a full-time trainer after the team Head Coach Dennis Kitambi quit his position two weeks ago, leaving the club head-hunting for his replacement.
But make no mistake! Despite the set back, Leopards are on the prowl going by their latest performance in the league. Last weekend, Leopards almost devoured pre-match favourites Zoo Kericho at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos before the latter pulled the game out of the fire in the dying minutes to share the spoils in two-all draw.
Despite frequent truancy by players over unpaid allowances, Leopards have held on-to their own by conjuring up descent results and there is an air of belief that the club which is perched third in the league standing can challenge for the title that has eluded them since 1998.
It is such spirit that the club’s faithful do hope shall continue today at Mbaraki Sports Club in Mombasa when the big cats stalk Bandari in one of the eight KPL matches lined up this weekend. In the meantime, Sofapaka interim coach John Baraza comes up against his former team Chemelil Sugar at Chemelil Complex today.
Baraza, who took over Batoto Ba Mungu’s coaching reigns after the departure of Sam Ssimbwa, guided the team to a 1-1 draw against Sopny Sugar last week and whether there will be an improved performance against the relatively stronger Chemelil remains to be seen.
The bulk of players Sofapaka signed last June are improving with each match and if the likes of Stephen Waruru, Kepha Aswani, Mohammed Kilume and Kevin Kimani click, there is absolutely no reason why the team should not pick maximum points.
Elsewhere, in Machakos tomorrow, Gor Mahia, joyous after reaching the CAF Cup league phase at the expense of South Africa’s Supersport, face Thika United. -CHARLES THUKU