Kariobangi Sharks are prepared to face Arta Solar of Djibouti in the CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round first leg match for their maiden continental football experience at the Kasarani Stadium Tuesday.
Sharks deservedly earned a place in the Africa’s second tier club championship by virtue of being this year’s SportPesa Shield winners and the Slum Boys are motivated to commence the new journey.
“We are well prepared. The players are in high spirits as it is their first time on the continental scene, which is enough motivation for us,” Sharks’ coach said.
Sharks’ opponent Arta Solar volunteered to represent Djibouti in the tournament, after Djibouti Telecom, who won both the league and domestic cup chose to play in the more lucrative CAF Champions League.
The Second-placed team in the league, AS Ports, pulled out citing financial challenge.
Arta are equally new in African football and Muluya wants to approach them cautiously.
“We are both first timers in the competition but we will in no way underrate them. We will approach the match with caution and I’m confident we’ll get positive results.”
Sharks will make do without the reigning Kenyan Premier League most valuable player Eric Kapaito who suffered a calf injury in training on Monday.
Prior to the setback, Kapaito, who was the league’s top scorer last season with 17 goals, was upbeat ahead of the historic match.
“Morale is high. Most of us will be making debuts which will be a motivation for us to give our best.”
Arta’s coach Musa Mara told the Nation that “I know nothing about them (K. Sharks) except that they won the cupn(SportPesa Shield) last season.”
He added: “We volunteered to play in this competition to learn and improve our game since we didn’t win anything last season.”
The team finished eighth in the 10-team league last season with 19 points in 18 matches. They are currently third in the new season with four points after three matches.
The aggregate winner of the two-legged encounter will face Asante Kotoko in the first round after the Ghanaians where handed a walkover after Cameroon failed to submit name of an opponent in time.
The match kick-offs at 4.00pm local time. Tickets will sell at Ksh100 flat rate.
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