Legend Tom Juma backs Leopards to corner K’Ogalo in anticipated derby
- AFC Leopards team manager Tom Juma is convinced the big cats are ready to silence their arch-rivals Gor Mahia in Sunday’s Mashemeji derby set for the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
- Juma who last played for Leopards in 1998 – the year they last won the coveted gong – is upbeat that his squad has come of age and will not disappoint when they line up for the duel.
AFC Leopards team manager Tom Juma is convinced the big cats are ready to silence their arch-rivals Gor Mahia in Sunday’s Mashemeji derby set for the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
Juma who last played for Leopards in 1998 – the they last won the coveted gong – is upbeat that his squad has come of age and will not disappoint when they line up for the duel.
Leopards are enjoying a good run of form having won four of their last five matches. They are however 11 points adrift of leaders K’Ogalo who are on 51 and a win for the former could throw a spanner in the works as far as the title race is concerned.
“We trained today (Tuesday) and yesterday (Monday) with Sunday’s clash in our mind. We hope for good results against them at the end of 90 minutes, “Juma, a revered ball-winning midfielder in his heyday, said.
Juma also wants the Ingwe nation to turn up in record numbers and fill the imposing 60,000 seater stadium to form cauldron.
The support of the 12th man will play a part in settling the duel, and having played in such high-pressure matches before, the Ingwe great is aware of what is in store.
“We have had a good run, come and get behind us as the 12th man,” he said to Citizen Digital in a reflective tone Wednesday morning.
He added: “Things are not bad and I promise you this time round we want to overturn the derby report card which has not been favourable to us for some time.”
Since the year began, Leopards have collected maximum points from Zoo FC, Ulinzi Stars, Sofapaka, Kisumu All Stars and Chemelil Sugar, losing just twice – to Posta Rangers and Tusker FC.
K’Ogalo, on the other hand, have beaten the likes of Wazito, Chemelil, Bandari, Western Stima, Sofapaka and Zoo FC while also losing twice – against Sofapaka and Kakamega Homeboyz.
Juma who featured for both Leopards and Gor Mahia has said that his experience on the technical bench together with that of his head coach Antony Kimani and keeper trainer Lawrence Webo, will play a pivotal role in the derby.
“For a long time I have been an advocate for local coaches to be given opportunity to run our clubs and here we are.
We have been in this club for long and we know and understand its culture, the fans and the interests of the club,” he concluded.
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