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Boost for Bandari ahead of Caf tie.

Bandari have been handed a major boost a head of their Caf Confederation Cup first round match this weekend after all the players were declared fit for the first leg encounter set for the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. The Dockers take on US Ben Guardane from Tunisia on Saturday after eliminating Sudanese Ahly Shendy in the preliminary round.

Lethal striker Yema Mwama and speed demon Abdallah Hassan, who have been the team's mainstay in attack have been out with a jaw and back injuries respectively, returned to training this week after the doctors passed them fit and are in contention for starting spots in the team according to head coach, Benard Mwalala. "I am extremely happy that Mwama and Hassan trained very well the entire week and will be ready for selection in this match which we must win, but avoid conceding any goal to make it easier for us in the second one leg away in Tunisia," Mwalala said after Wednesday's final training session at their Mbaraki backyard, before departing for Nairobi.

Mwalala will, however have to do without Burundi goalkeeper Justine Ndikumama, former Kakamega Homeboyz stopper Sosthenes Idah, diminutive winger Mohammed Katana "Messi" and former US-based Patrick Mugendi, who will all watch the game from the terraces after failing to beat the Caf registration deadline. "The four new players came after we submitted our list and will therefore be eligible if we advance to the next stage of the competition," Mwalala, who was flanked by his assistants Nasoro Mwakoba and Ibrahim Shikanda said.

He is, however happy that other new signings among them winger Cliff Kasuti, defensive midfielder Alex Luganji and striker Danson Namasaka will all be battling for places in the weekend match. "We have a formidable side and would want to maintain a clean sheet in Nairobi, but atleast score a couple of goals to make the return leg match easier," Mwalala said.

The former Harambee Stars midfielder said the morale in the team is sky high and appealed to fans to turn up in large numbers and cheer the team to victory. Team assistant captain Shaban Kenga said they have an idea about their opponents' style of play and promised to take the game to them.

"We have information that they are ball players who rely mainly on build up from the goalkeeper which is good news to us because we have dealt with such teams in the local league before," Kenga said.The team will resume training on Friday afternoon at Jamhuri High School.

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Publication:Daily Nation, Kenya (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Sep 11, 2019
Words:472
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