The feel good factor brought about by new head coach Nikola Kavazovic has not lasted long and it might be another long torrid outing for Leopards in this coming political season.
Last Season Finish: 7th
The fascination now is just how Leopards will begin their KPL campaign without a recognized head coach after Kavazovic left in what the club described as ‘attending to family issues’ despite the Serbian having been linked with the vacant job at South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) side Free States Stars.
With or without Nikola, the mission of whoever who will be in charge for the season is clear: he has to make Leopards true contenders and not allow another procession from Gor Mahia. Or, worse, be spectators in a Bandari-Tusker tussle as the both look certain to challenge.
There has been a feel good factor in preseason and the departure of the head coach should do little harm considering he has sent over one of his lieutenants to watch over the team in his absence but real test await in the opening day of the season when Kariobangi Sharks, who haven’t lost to them recently calls. The tie might not have a true picture of how their season will pan but by February 10 when they meet Gor Mahia, everyone should know the trajectory the team will take in the season.
Put simply, the man in charge has to keep Leopards in the title race until when they meet Gor but this isn’t any other season in the club’s calendar. They are set to elect new members in the office in 2019 and this, as any in the past seasons has always affected the playing unit. The campaigns have already started with a section of the vying lot rendering the current office non constitutional. The man in charge will have to ensure that these off field drama don’t find itself in the playing unit if they are to harbor any dreams of challenging the best in the league.
Talking of the playing unit, the loss of Captain Duncan Otieno to Nkana is a big loss but Said Tsuma should do just fine in midfield. There have been exciting signing too that can help the team but they still need a proper center half to partner Robinson Kamura with Salim Abdalla having had inconsistent performances in the past seasons. Ezekiel Odera future should be solved as soon as possible and if striker Michelle Katsvairro can hit the ground running, it will be a big boost for the team.
The coach must prove that he is in compete and for him to hand Leopards their 13th league title, he will have to take the early part of the campaign by storm.