Leopards drop six players including captain
Kenyan Premier League giants AFC Leopards have dropped six players, among them club captain Martin Imbalambala and Anthony ‘Mod’ Kimani.
Others are custodian Joel Bataro, Clement Mata, Dennis Dodi and Titus Wamalwa.
Leopards coach Zdravo Logarusic said he has younger and taleted players who can do a better job.
“There are good young players who need the exposure; they did not come to sit on the bench. Imbalambala (Martin) has not been with us, he had a lot of issues with the office and family problems. He has also played just two games,” Logarusic said.
Asked about his transfer targets, the coach said: “I cannot present a wish list to the office because those present have not been paid.”
The axing of Mata comes as a shock as he was among the 14 players that showed up for Sunday’s dramatic 1-0 win over Sofapaka, when the bulk of the squad members had boycotted the game owing to unpaid salaries and bonuses.
Mata hasn’t been a regular under Logarusic. Bataro, on the other hand, could be paying for the ‘sin’ of not turning up for the Sunday game.
He alongside Dodi and Wamalwa have been fringe players at the den, while Kimani, who joined the team from Mathare United, has been dogged by injuries in the last two seasons.
Imbalambala has had a troubled relationship with the club leadership this year. He was recently in the limelight after he was locked out of his Thika flat owing to unpaid rent and he made a stinging criticism of the club hierarchy. Since then, he has not trained with the team.
Contacted, caretaker committee chairman Amin Walji confirmed that they had dropped the players.
“For now I’m in South Africa, I will be back at the weekend, but I can confirm that there are players who were dropped.”
Club organising secretary Timothy Lilumbi, who alongside the other executive members have been under pressure to quit said: “I’m made to understand that they (caretaker committee) have dropped the players, but the mandate to sign, drop or recruit players still lies with us. If you ask me, this is not the time to drop players.”