14 November 2018

Kenya: Bandari Line Up More Friendlies, Land SportPesa Cup Invite

Bandari Chief Executive Officer Edward Oduor has confirmed that the SportPesa Premier League runners-up have lined up more friendly matches as part of their preparations for the 2018/2019 season.

Oduor said that they will play against a yet to be identified team from Kwale County at Serani Sports Club on Friday starting 2pm before hosting Ulinzi Stars on November 24 at the same venue.

"After these two matches, we will follow the programme that will be provided by our head coach Bernard Mwalala," he said.

The Dockers returned to Mombasa on Monday after a four-day tour of Zanzibar where they played two friendly warm-up matches against top island teams.

In their first match, Bandari edged Zanzibar Premier League champions, Jeshi la Kujenga Uchumi (JKU) 3-0 but were held to a 3-3 draw by Malindi FC in their second match. Both matches were played at Amaan Stadium.

The team has been training since Tuesday following their return.

"We'll continue training and play a series of friendly matches before opening our Kenya Premier League (KPL) campaign against Gor Mahia on December 8," said Oduor.

Meanwhile, Bandari is among four Kenyan teams that will take part in the SportPesa Cup to be held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from January 22-29 next year.

Oduor confirmed receipt of an invitation from betting firm SportPesa and welcomed the opportunity to grace the international tourney.

The Dockers, who finished second in the SportPesa Premier League last season, will be taking part in the tournament for the first time.

The other Kenyan teams that will feature are defending champions Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards and Kariobangi Sharks.

Tanzania has SportPesa-sponsored sides Simba, their arch-rivals Yanga, Singida United and new entrants Mbao FC from Mwanza.

Gor beat their nemesis AFC Leopards 3-0 to clinch the inaugural tourney in June 2017 before thumping Tanzanian giants Simba 2-0 in the second edition played in Nakuru June this year.

"It's another opportunity to gauge our superiority in the region, by that time we would've prepared enough to defend the cup," said Gor captain Harun Shakava.

The winner, who gets a chance to play English Premier League outfit Everton, bags Sh3 million while runners up pockets Sh1 million, Sh750,000 and Sh500,000 for the third and fourth-placed teams.

K'Ogalo have so far played Everton twice; losing 2-1 in the first meeting in July last year in Dar es Salaam followed by last week's 4-0 thrashing at Goodison Park.

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