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FKF Premier League

What can Harambee Stars reinforcements do for AFC Leopards?

9:34 PM MYT 19/03/2022
John Makwatta of AFC Leopards vs Sofapaka.
The former champions have been struggling for consistency this season owing to their inexperience...will these new arrivals make the difference?

Football Kenya Federation Premier League side AFC Leopards have received a massive boost after their recent signings were cleared to play.

The 13-time champions have been struggling for consistency owing to their inexperienced squad, but have received a major boost after several international stars were given the green light to join them.

At the end of last season, the team lost almost all their key players owing to their financial struggles.

Mark Makwatta, Victor Omune, Cliff Nyakeya, Moses Oudo and Josephat Lopaga were the new players at the Den, but can they now help Leopards pull clear of mid-table obscurity.

Why the players did not feature

Ingwe had been serving sanctions from Fifa after being accused of not clearing their former players.

However, they were eventually cleared and the FKF Caretaker Committee have given Leopards clearance to bring the players into the fold.

"This is a massive boost for the team because it will add experience that we badly need," the club's assistant coach Tom Juma told GOAL on Saturday.

"Makwatta has been with us before, scoring goals for fun and it is great to have him. He will help in shaping our attack alongside Nyakeya and Omune.

"These are players who we believe have what it takes to help the team realise their ambitions by the end of the season."

On Sunday, Leopards will play Kenya Police at Nyayo Stadium, but will the new signings feature?

"Having them available is not a guarantee that they will play this weekend," Juma continued.

"Preparations have been good and they have been training well along with the other players, but they will have to fight for their positions."

Makwatta left Ingwe for Zesco United of Zambia in February 2022 but did not last at Timu ya Ziko. He had a brief stint with Kenya Police before making a return to Leopards.

Nyakeya has initially played for Mathare United, FC Masr of Egypt and Wazito while Omune has been playing for KCB FC.

Currently, Leopards are placed 12th on the table from the 21 matches they have played. Patrick Aussems' charges have secured six wins, nine draws and six losses meaning they have 27 points.

The administrative side are a position higher with as many points but have a superior goal difference. They have played 22 and just like Ingwe, they have won six, drawn nine but lost seven.