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Bandari can fight for title in 2024, says coach Baraza

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Bandari
Bandari's James Kinyanjui in action
  • Bandari are placed sixth on the log
  • Their best ever finish in the league was third
  • Bandari has never won the FKF PL title

Bandari FC head coach John Baraza has hinted his team will charge up to fight for the FKF Premier League title, as they look to step up their pursuit in the second leg of the season in 2024.

With a game to spare before the first leg ends, Bandari are placed sixth in the standings with 26 points eight behind leaders Gor Mahia and the tactician believes they are still within striking range of the title.

“If you look at the gap between us and the top, it is not much. You never know what might happen in the season and for us, the target is to win our games. There are some aspects of course that we have to improve in, but winning and ensuring we don’t drop points is the most important thing,” Baraza said.

The former Kenyan international was elevated to the position of head coach, having served as an assistant to Twahir Muhiddin who was taken back to his Technical Director role after a few games into the campaign. Serving before him was another ex Kenyan international, Anthony Kimani, who was also sent packing due to poor results.

Baraza says he is pleased with the performance of the team so far, but believes they can do better in the second leg.

“So far, I thank my players for the effort they have put in. We have been affected by a lot of injuries to key players in the first leg but the ones who were given the chance have done their best for the team,” Baraza noted.

Bandari look to inject experienced faces 

Bandari

Bandari celebrate during a past match

As they prepare for what is expected to be a tough second leg with cut throat competition, Baraza is looking to inject a few experienced faces into his team to aid his title bid. The tactician says Bandari targets to sign two or three experienced players in the mid-season transfer window, to spur the dockers’ charge for the FKF Premier League title.

“I think we have the quality to challenge for the FKF Premier League title and if we can add two or three new players we can manage to fight for the title. We still have a lot of games coming and anything can happen to the teams above us,” Baraza, a two-time Premier League golden boot winner said.

Meanwhile, the team has already lost some players from the first leg with Joe Waithira and Ugandan William Wadri both leaving after the expiry of their contracts. The club was reluctant to extend Waithira’s contract while they failed to agree on personal terms with Wadri who has been at the club for the last six years.

Skipper Abdallah Hassan has also been rumoured to be headed out, though the club is keen to tie him to a contract as he is one of their most influential players on and off the pitch.

Bandari ended the year with a 1-0 defeat to leaders Gor, in a match Baraza feels they should have at least come off with something on the balance of chances created in the game.

Didn’t deserve to lose 

Bandari

Bandari skipper Andrew Juma tackles Gor Mahia’s Benson Omalla

“We didn’t deserve to come out of that match with nothing. Even a point would have been fair for us. The larger part of the game worked out well for us and everything went according to plan but in terms of chances we should have done more,” Baraza said.

He added; “You don’t need 10 chances to score one goal. Even with two or three, we should be able to score. Gor had their best chance and used it.”

Bandari will now regroup and restrategize for the new year, with the hope of improving their fortunes. Already, winger Joe Waithera is set to leave the team upon the expiry of his contract, and they are bidding their eyes on several experienced faces to improve their squad.

Bandari play at home against Nzoia Sugar when the season resumes on January 6.

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