Calm before storm in AFC Leopards camp?

By Robin Toskin: Saturday, February 24th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football

An unusual calm has engulfed AFC Leopards den. Outside, especially on social media, murmurs are rising above the din of tens of the faithful fans who have watched Ingwe’s four competitive matches this season.

A tame display in their 1-0 loss to eternal rivals Gor Mahia in the KPL Super Cup was followed by 1-1 draw with Posta Rangers.

And aggregate loss on away goal rule to Madagascar’ Fosa Juniors in the preliminary round of Confederation Cup has left fans frustrated by the lack of ferocity in attack despite a busy transfer activity in January.

Although coach Robert Matano insists it is a matter of time before his felines get off the leash, there is a palpable feeling his signings are at best, journeymen seeking to revive their declining careers.

AFC’s foreign legion

Ugandan Baker Lukooya arrived from Soana, Isaac Oduro (Hearts of Oak/Ghana), Henry Uche (Shooting Stars/Nigeria), Prince Arko (Sekondi Hasaacas/Ghana), Eric Kwabena Bekoe of Ghana also landed at the Den via Kafr El Sheikh of Egypt.

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The foreign legion’s contribution to the team has divided opinion of the club’s followers. Add that to the signing of former Gor Mahia combative midfielder Collins ‘Gatusso’ Okoth, striker Ezekiel Odera and the grumbles rise a decibel higher.

“I have full confidence in the players especially now that scouting for the players was dictated by available funds for transfer,” Matano told Standard Sports in a recent interview.

And when Matano and his technical bench are rummaging through the den in search of that spark, arch-rivals Ulinzi Stars have their bayonets trained at them this tomorrow.

Handled by former Waterworks and Gor Mahia midfielder Danstan Nyaudo, Ulinzi Stars poses the greatest threat to Matano’s bid to turn around Ingwe before it is too late.

AFC Leopards stopped Ulinzi Stars’ four-game winning streak over them courtesy of a 2-2 draw in 2016 following up with another scoreless draw last year before winning 1-0 on October 17 last year.

Ulinzi Stars’ hot and cold start to the season will, however, encourage AFC Leopards to go for the army men’s jugular.