Shabana coach Sammy Okoth is delighted that the club is now reaping the benefits of a weight loss programme set up for midfielder Eugene Mukangula
Shabana coach Sammy Okoth has revealed how midfielder Eugene Mukangula has had to cut weight to adapt his game to that of his new side before starting to shine for Tore Bobe.
Mukangula was one of the standout performances as Shabana drew 2-2 with Nairobi City Stars last weekend when he scored his first goal for the club.
The former AFC Leopards captain was at the centre of most attacking moves for Shabana, creating chances for his team-mates and also missed some. His presence near and in the box caused the City Stars defenders plenty of problems as they struggled with his physical presence.
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It is a performance that has delighted Okoth who feels the player is now reaping the fruits of a grueling training regime that the club set up for him after signing him in September, following his departure from AFC Leopards.
“He has added great experience to the team which is very good,” said Okoth.
“We had to work on his fitness because when he came, he was not well fit. We have been doing this and then we gave him the challenge of the game.
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“He has the quality and ability to play but did not have the needed fitness. Given his stature, he was a bit heavy when he came but we have had to work on his weight and get him in the right shape.
“His style of playing worked for him elsewhere but here, he had to adapt to the way we play.”
Okoth has backed Mukangula to get even better as he feels he is capable of producing more once he is fully fit. The tactician is also delighted by the leadership qualities of the former Thika United midfielder.
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Mukangula's dramatic weight gain had caused a stir of murmurs amongst concerned fans.
“We are happy with the progress and we known he can do much more than what he is doing now. The good thing with him is that he accepted to play in our team knowing where we are coming from,” said Okoth.
“He is one of the leaders in the dressing room an he is leading by example by performing well on the pitch.”
Mukangula has struggled with weight issues throughout his career and even became a subject of ridicule among some rival fans. The player previously admitted how a poor lifestyle saw him dramatically add weight before he went through the pain of cutting it down.
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“It has not been an easy journey but sometimes, you have to go through pain. Sometimes, you look at your career and your health, especially your health, because it is the most important thing,” Mukangula told Pulse Sports in May.
“I had to change a lot of what I was eating so I changed my plate. I also had to incorporate a lot of fasting, intermittent fasting, and that is why I am where I am now. I am happy. I will not stop because it has its health benefits and I will have to keep doing it.”
Mukangula joined AFC Leopards in 2018 from the now defunct Thika United, where he h