It has been 21 years since AFC Leopards last lifted the KPL title and in that time frame, they have lost their claim as Kenya’s most successful club to cede ground to eternal rivals Gor Mahia.
In those 21 years Ingwe have looked a pale shadow of the side that dominated the country and the region in the 70’s and 80’s and those glory years are what current player Paul Were wants to help the club return too starting with this season.
Andre Cassa Mbungo’s side currently lies in 14th place in the league after starting off the campaign with a 1-0 loss away to Kakamega Homeboyz, a side that they haven’t won against in their last four meetings now.
The slim loss did little to inspire the confidence of some of the clubs faithful as well as sceptics who feel that the 12 time KPL champions will again put up a shallow showing this season. But according to Were, who is gearing to make his first appearance in his third stint with the club, the players and the coaches are working round the clock to make sure the team challenges for titles this season.
In a video shared on social media by the club, the Kenyan international said, “My target here is to help the team return to where it is supposed to be and that is at the top. For me a good challenge is for us to win the league as well as the cup this season but the season is just beginning so I don’t want to give empty promises.
“For us as a team we are working hard so that we can give back to our ardent fans who have always been there even with the dismal results of recent times. It has been long since we won a title so we are working hard to make this a thing of the past.”
Happy to be back
The Kenyan international also spoke of his joy to be returning to the team he last featured for last season when he signed a short term contract that expired after the campaign.
Last term, Ingwe spent a majority of the first half of the season fighting to get away from the relegation zone and fans will be hoping that the loss to Homeboyz, who they lost too in the early rounds of last season coincidentally, does not spell out déjà vu.
Leopards will next face off against Kariobangi Sharks at the newly refurbished Nyayo Stadium on Saturday with the fixture proving to be another difficult task for the blue and white who have only claimed one win against William Muluya’s charges in the last seven meetings in all competitions.