The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Masika Is Easy

AFC Leopards defender Eric Masika harbours no regrets of leaving Gor Mahia to join their traditional rivals even if Kogallo go on to be crowned champions and not his current side Ingwe.

The 24-year-old defender made the switch to Leopards and at the beginning of the season for what was reported to be a transfer fee of Sh500,000, a record between Kenyan clubs.

He insisted that his move to Leopards was purely a football one and even if they do not end it by being crowned champions, it will not change his attitude towards the club or hold anything against his former side.

"My decision to join Leopards was to take my career to another level and it was basically a football decision," said Masika. "I have moved on and I am now an AFC player and I am fully focused on winning the league. But even if it doesn't happen, I will still be happy," said the defender who has scored only once since his protracted move from Kogallo.

The defender revealed that Leopards are still confident that they can nick the title ahead of their traditional rivals and end their 14-year drought.

"We have found our form at the right time. The mood in training has been good and we will give our all to the last moment. In football, anything can happen so we have to be able to take the opportunity should another chance come our way," said Masika, who has been capped once with the national soccer team, Harambee Stars and still hopes to be included in the squad to play in the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Uganda in a fortnight.

Leopards travel to face Chemelil Sugar and Masika admitted that the sugar millers were a difficult proposition. He was, however quick to add that Leopards are equally ready for them. "Chemelil are a tough team, particularly at home but we have won our last four matches and we want to win the title so they should expect no mercy," warned Masika.

Leopards go into their last match with a point, behind Kenya Premier League leaders Gor and on similar points with defending champions Tusker.

Jan Koops will have a fully fit squad to choose from with international striker Allan Wanga likely to be reinstated into the starting line up at the expense of former Chemelil man Victor Ohcieng.

Wanga has been in good form in his last two substitute appearances for Leopards and set up Paul Were to score the crucial third goal in their 4-2 win over Mathare United last weekend.

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