Kakamega Homeboyz are confident of making a winning debut in the CAF Confederation Cup as they collide with Al Hilal Benghazi of Libya in preliminary first leg encounter at Nyayo Stadium on Saturday from 3pm.
Though this will be Abana Ba Ingo’s first appearance in the continental competition, Homeboyz tactician Patrick Odhiambo believes his side has what it takes to qualify for the group stage.
The winner of the two legged fixture, whose return leg is scheduled for August 27 in Libya, will meet Rayon Sports of Rwanda in the next round.
Speaking at their last training session at Nyayo Stadium yesterday, Odhiambo is banking on his experience as a player, having played at the continental level when he turned out for Gor Mahia.
“The club is only ten-years-old, with no continental football experience, but we have good players who have great experience at this level,” said the former Biashara United and Prisons FC (Tanzania) coach .
“We are going through a really good phase at the moment in Kenyan football. We aim to do our best to advance to the next round and we will do our best to achieve our goals and make the Kenyans fans proud, all we are asking for is for fans to turn up and cheer the club.”
Odhiambo, who previously coached Western Stima, Agro Chemicals, Muhoroni Youth, Chemelil Sugar and Sony Sugar is not only banking his past experience as a player but also in his charges like captain Moses Mudavadi, Kevin Amwayi, Eston Esiye, Ali Bai and Farouk Shikalo.
“I have played at continental level against North African clubs during my playing years at Gor Mahia, that’s the experience I will deploy to ensure we get points at home before turning up for the second leg in Libya,” said Odhiambo, who served as Steven Polack’s assistant at Gor Mahia in the 2019/20 season.
Homeboyz earned a ticket to the continental showpiece after upsetting Tusker 1-0 in the FKF Cup final.
CAF have temporarily allowed Homeboyz to use the Nyayo Stadium, despite not yet being fully certified, but in the event they make it into the group stages, then they will have to look for an alternative venue outside the country.
Homeboyz opponents arrived in Nairobi on Wednesday led by Egyptian coach Mohamed Ouda but Homeboyz skipper Moses Mudavadi downplayed their underdog tag against the North Africans.
“The morale is quite high, every player is eager for victory, we want the maximum points, and because we are playing the first leg at home, we must maximize that advantage. We are not underdogs, we have both young and experienced players who will deliver victory. We are also glad our coach has played at this level and we are glad he is guiding us well,” said Mudavadi.
Homeboyz warmed up for the duel with a 4-2 defeat to Gor Mahia on penalties in the season-opening Charity Shield.