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AFC coach Aussems optimistic ahead of new season

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AFC coach Aussems
  • Aussems says he is impressed with how his team is preparing
  • They played to a 0-0 draw with AFC Leopards in a friendly match
  • He targets a top five finish this season

AFC Leopards head coach Patrick Aussems says he is impressed with how his team is preparing for the new season, despite the uncertainty surrounding the start dates.

The tactician who returned to Kenya late last month after an extended holiday says the players have shown hunger and willingness to learn and says he is happy with the progress, though is quick to add that there is plenty more to work on to ensure they are the finished product he desires.

He was happy with how they fared during a friendly match against the more experienced Ulinzi Stars at the Nyayo National Stadium.

“I don’t really care about the result. The most important thing is that we have been working over the last 10 days and focused on the defensive attitude individually and collectively and I am satisfied with what I have seen,” the tactician.

“In the friendly against Ulinzi, we tried to make different zones and different formations and overall I was satisfied though we still have to work some more,” he added.

“Our players are tactically weak but we need to work on that. We have been working and they are improving. My only target (in the Ulinzi game) was to see how they work in a real game situation because it is different from training.”

Forced to work with a young squad

Once again, Leopards will be forced to work with a young squad, with players promoted mainly from the Youth Team due to their current transfer embargo enforced by FIFA.

Despite this, Aussems says he is pleased that he has managed to maintain the same squad that played last season with the only exception being John Mark Makwatta who has since left for Botswana.

He has found a new addition though with midfielder Musa Oundo who had been on loan to Kibera Black Stars last season.

“Already, I am used to work with these young players. I have not been able to recruit since I came here. Last season we lost almost 17 players but this season it is just one or two. We keep going with these young players and some of them have shown really good improvement,”

“They deserve to play in this league and I am confident in their abilities. These players need the experience and I will give them like I did last season. Now we have two more weeks to train before our first game and I am confident we will be okay to start,”

Makwatta not in his plans

On Makwatta, the coach says he was not in his plans as he was not pleased with some aspects of his work ethic last season.

Leopards have not won the Premier League since 1998, and Aussems says they will give a good shot at it this season after a sixth place finish last term.

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