AFC Leopards midfielder sends out strong message as Mashemeji  derby day approaches

AFC Leopards midfielder sends out strong message as Mashemeji derby day approaches

Festus Chuma 10:34 - 19.04.2024

The 21-year-old midfielder will experience his first Mashemeji Derby following a notable first league start for AFC Leopards.

AFC Leopards and rivals Gor Mahia will face off in the second-round fixture of the FKF Premier League season on Sunday.

Among the fresh faces eager to make their mark in this high-stakes match are January recruits Kennedy Owino, Kelly Madada, Arthur Gitego, and Christopher Koloti, all set for their first taste of the derby atmosphere.

 Another player to watch is Owen Mboya, the young midfielder who recently made his first league start for AFC Leopards in a victorious outing against Posta Rangers FC at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.

"Making my first start was a great feeling. I've been working hard for this opportunity, and I'm glad it finally came. The match was challenging, especially the pitch, but I'm happy to have contributed to our team's victory. I hope to enjoy more wins with this team," said Mboya.

The significance of the derby is not lost on the players or the coaching staff. 

AFC Leopards' coach, Thomas Trucha made strategic adjustments in his lineup against Posta Rangers, giving Gideon Were his debut and placing trust in Brian Wanyama and Mboya to start the game. 

With the derby looming Trucha's selections suggest a blend of youth and experience aiming to outmaneuver their arch-rivals.

"It is the biggest match in the league, two great teams battling it out for bragging rights and three vital points. It is a game where passion and pride play a big part. I would love to feature in this historical match, but as a team, the most important thing is winning," said Mboya.

On the other side, Gor Mahia, with a record 20 league titles, will not be short of motivation as they face AFC Leopards, who boast 12 championships. 

The rivalry, which ignited on May 5, 1968, has grown into one of the most anticipated fixtures in Kenyan football, drawing massive crowds and evoking fierce pride.

AFC Leopards will likely be without Victor Omune due to illness and will also miss the services of Mousa Oundo and Kayci Odhiambo due to injuries.

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