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Daily Nation : January 29th 2014
58 | Sport Leopards rejuvenated by two-week training camp in Mumias BY ISAAC SWILA @IsaacSwila email@example.com AFC Leopards coach James Nandwa believes the team’s residential training camp in Mumias has achieved its intended purpose as his team prepares to return to Nairobi for the start of the new season. For the last two weeks, the 13-time league champions have been finalising their pre-season preparations in the sugarbelt town after adding several fresh faces to their squad. Nandwa (left) yesterday told Daily Nation Sport “that the team made good progress during the two-week camp.” “The boys now understand each other better and they are gaining confidence,” said the soft-spoken coach who also doubles up as Harambee Stars deputy coach. Full fitness Nandwa confirmed that injured centre back Anthony Kimani will not see action at the start of the season but added that Allan Wanga and Jacob Keli are both striving to gain full fitness before the season begins. Nandwa also expressed confidence in his team’s readiness for the second edition of the Kenya Power Charity Cup this coming weekend at the Nyayo National Stadium. Leopards play Mathare United in the first match at 9am before Gor Mahia lock horns with Sofapaka in an 11:3oam kick off match for a place in the final of the one-day tournament. “We will treat the competition with the seriousness it deserves. We intend to win it for our fans,” Nandwa said in a phone interview with Daily Nation Sport. KENYAN PREMIER LEAGUE | Former champs capture two experienced players to bolster squad Mugalia, Kimani toast to Tusker T Brewers continue rebuilding process with key signings ahead of new season BY ISAAC SWILA @IsaacSwila firstname.lastname@example.org en-time league champions, Tusker FC, have completed two major signings by capturing Congolese-born Kenyan player Bob Mugalia and former Kenyan Premier League Player of the Year Kevin Kimani. Mu ga l i a joins the brewers o n Both Wafula and Kimani have penned twoyear deals with the side. Kimani lit up the league scene in 2012 with fine displays that earned KPL’s Best Player award as well as the Best Midfielder award before he moved to Europe for greener pas- tures. His attempt to Join German Division Two side Arminia Bielefeld came to naught in early 2013 after undergoing trials with several clubs in Germany’s North Rhine Westphalia State. Kimani also failed to secure a move to the Belgian league before he settled for Greek side Apo Fostir FC which he left late last year. Kimani, Kimanzi reunited season-long loan deal, while Kimani will be hoping to jumpstart his faltering career after one season abroad. Mugalia had been 2012 The last time Tusker won the Kenyan Premier League title training with the Francis Kimanzicoached team for the last two weeks, during which he impressed the former national team tactician. The move to Ruaraka gives the once highly rated playmaker a chance to reinvent himself after a three-year spell with Sofapaka. “I have left home (Sofapaka) briefly for a new challenge and it means I have to work every hard to attain my goals and justify Tusker’s decision to sign me,” Mugalia told Daily Nation Sport. Tusker director, Charles Obiny, said that they had offered the attacker “good terms” after impressing the technical bench. “I can confirm that the signing is complete after agreeing terms with him and his parent club (Sofapaka). He will certainly add quality to the squad,” Obiny said. Mugalia, alongside Kimani and towering centre back Duncan Wafula, are the three key signings that Tusker made within a week. “Our deal with Kimani is complete. We are just awaiting his International Transfer Certificate from the Greek federation. We have done all the paper work and asked Football Kenya Federation to follow on the matter,” Obiny said. The move will see Kimani re-unite with his former coach, Kimanzi, who has been on a charm offensive luring his former players to join him at Ruaraka. Among those who have heeded his call are the former Mathare United trio of Osborne Monday, Llyod Wahome and Dennis Nzomo. PHOTOS | FILE Bob Mugalia trains with Sofapaka at the City Stadium on June 10, 2011. The Congoleseborn Kenyan forward has moved to Tusker on a season-long loan deal. Right is Tusker head coach Francis Kimanzi. Essien happy to be reunited with familiar faces at Milan Rome Ghana midfielder Michael Essien said he was “happy to have joined the Milan family” as he was unveiled by the Serie A club yesterday following his transfer from Chelsea. “I have my best friend Sulley Muntari here and I’ve known him a long time,” said the 31-year-old Essien, who arrives as a free agent and has signed a one-and-a-half-year deal at the San Siro. “There is also Ricardo Kaka who I played with at Real Madrid last year,” added the former Lyon player, who joins a club looking to climb the table in the coming months under recently appointed coach Clarence Seedorf. “It was easy to make a decision after speaking to Clarence. Jose Mourinho (his coach at Chelsea and formerly in charge at Inter Milan) said it would be a great experience and I would settle well in Italy.” Essien could feature for Milan in their Champions League last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid next month, with both Riccardo Montolivo and Muntari banned for the first leg. And he will hope to make a big enough impression to seal a place in the Ghana squad for the World Cup in Brazil in June and July. “The coach will decide when I play,” he said. (AFP) I can confirm that the deal is complete after agreeing terms with him and his parent club (Sofapaka). He will certainly add quality to the squad” Charles Obiny, Tusker director DAILY NATION Wednesday January 29, 2014 BRIEFLY LONDON Striker Odemwingie joins Stoke City Stoke City have signed Nigerian striker Peter Odemwingie from Cardiff City with Kenwyne Jones moving in the opposite direction in a player-exchange deal, the Premier League clubs announced yesterday. Odemwingie, 32, has signed an 18-month contract with Stoke and could make his debut in tonight’s league game away to Sunderland. “We’re delighted to have signed Peter,” Stoke manager Mark Hughes told the club website. “Things haven’t perhaps gone as well for him at Cardiff as he would have hoped and he’s really keen to start afresh with us.” LONDON Eto’o may stay at Chelsea - Mourinho Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said on Tuesday that Samuel Eto’o may remain at the club next season, despite reports he could return to Spain when his contract expires in June. Mourinho would like to keep the 32-year-old former Mallorca and Barcelona striker, but he says that no final decision will be taken by player or club until nearer the end of the current campaign. With Fernando Torres out for two more weeks with a knee injury, Eto’o has become the London club’s principal striker at a decisive phase in the season. And the Chelsea manager said: “We have a very trustful relationship with him. He’s the kind of guy that, with his career, he feels very free and very comfortable making decisions just for himself.” MADRID Midfielder Iniesta back for Barca from injury CBarcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta will make his return after two weeks out with a knee injury in the Spanish Cup against Levante on Wednesday, according to his club. The 94-time capped Spain inter- national suffered bruising on his left knee during Barca’s 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid on January 11, and has since missed two La Liga two King’s Cup matches. “We have seen Andres through his rehabilitation,” coach Gerardo Martino said Tuesday, 24 hours ahead of the quarter-final second leg fixture against Levante, Barca having won the first leg 4-1. ROME Lazio look to see off Napoli tonight LLazio take on Napoli in the last Italian Cup quarter-final on Wednesday, knowing that victory will bring an extra special reward - three derby matches agasint archrivals AS Roma in the space of a week. The two Roman clubs, who share the tenancy of the Olympic Stadium, are already scheduled to meet in the league on February 9, while a semi-final clash over two legs would take place on February 5 and 12. However, before the Lazio faith- ful can savour that prospect, there is the not inconsiderable matter of seeing off the threat of high-flying Napoli. Rafa Benitez’s men have slipped off the pace at the top of Serie A and are now third.
January 28th 2014
January 30th 2014