Aussems impressed with hunger from AFC Leopards squad

Image: Imago

FKFPL Aussems impressed with hunger from AFC Leopards squad

Festus Chuma • 09:12 - 14.02.2023

The former Simba SC of Tanzania coach asked for patience, insisting he is still in the process of rebuilding Ingwe

AFC Leopards coach Patrick Aussems has praised the fighting spirit of his young team in the ongoing 2022-2023 Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKFPL) season.

Ingwe are currently sitting fifth on the league table thanks to 25 points collected across 15 games.

While it is still early days, the position shows that something is being done at Leopards following an underwhelming campaign that saw the club finish fifth last season.

AFC Leopards have claimed 17 points in their last seven games and the Belgian coach has praised the desire inside the camp.

“Last season, we finished top five, and a lot of people had thought we were going to be relegated, but we are there, and we keep going, and that is why I am so proud of my team as they are doing a good job,” Aussems said in an interview with NTV on Monday.

“We had a big conversation with players, the technical bench, and myself regarding fighting spirit because I have a team with a play style; we want to play football, but playing football without aggressiveness is useless.

We need to have this fighting spirit, and in the last four weeks, the players have put that in their mind, and now they are fighting. We did not have that before, but things are improving in the team now.”

Image: AFC Leopards

The recent performance of players such as 21-year-old Kaycie Odhimabo and a host of other young stars in the teams comes as no surprise to Aussems, who identified a clear shift in the talent at the start of this season.

“When I came two years ago, we had a team, and last season we lost 17 players, and we were not allowed to recruit, which was terrible. We worked with young players, and they did a good job,” he added.

“The biggest challenge now is that we cannot recruit so we will do with the players at my disposal, and the players available are the young players. Fortunately, they have skills, they are really focused, and are improving.”

Aussems was appointed Ingwe coach in February 2021 on a short-term contract, but his term was extended for two years.

AFC Leopards hope to close the gap between them and table leaders Nzoia Sugar when they take on Kariobangi Sharks at Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday.