Mathare’s Ali buoyant as Bandari visit


Mathare's Ali buoyant as Bandari visit
Mathare United FC assistant coach Salim Ali instructs his charges against Thika United FC during their Sportpesa Premier League match at the Nyayo National stadium on July 23, 2016. Thika United FC won 2-0. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha

In Summary

  • Mathare United head coach Salim Ali has warned rivals not to make the mistake of underrating his side's chance for the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title
  • Despite losing some key players during the close season, Ali said he feels he has assembled an even better team and the squad is ready for their season-opener against Bandari FC on Saturday

Mathare United head coach Salim Ali has warned rivals not to make the mistake of underrating his side’s chance for the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title.

Despite losing some key players during the close season, Ali said he feels he has assembled an even better team and the squad is ready for their season-opener against Bandari FC on Saturday.

Ali, who took over from Francis Kimanzi last month, gave credit to Bandari saying they are a ‘well-coached team’ that has been ‘hitting some top form recently’.

“They should not be taken for granted. They are really a good side but we are Mathare and the fact that we’ve won this league before adds something special to our name. It will be a tough match,” Ali told Citizen Digital.

Meanwhile, his Bandari counterpart Bernard Mwalala downplayed the might in his squad and said they can only be considered title contenders after the first five matches.

Under Mwalala, Bandari have finished as runners up in back to back KPL seasons and made a return to the CAF Confederation Cup where they are already in the second round.

The youthful tactician noted that their Confederation Cup progress at the expense of Al Ahly Shandy whom they knocked out will serve as a morale booster ahead of the new campaign.

“We can only set our targets for the season after playing our first five matches. If we get good results in those matches then we can now say, let’s go for the title.

“My squad is in high spirits especially after we qualified in the confederations and we are looking forward to the new campaign,” Mwalala said.

Their recent four league meetings between Mathare and Bandari have all ended in draws.

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