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Leopards close to hiring Romanian coach

AFC Leopards is inching closer to signing Romanian and former Eritrean national football team head coach Dorian Marin.

Leopards are hunting for a new coach after the club’s hierarchy recently made it clear that out of favour coach Dutchman, Pieter de Dongh will no longer be part of the team’s technical bench in the new season.

Marin, 51, has been heavily linked with the club since December last year and sources within the club told Nairobi News that the club’s leadership has settled on him.

However, club deputy secretary general Prof Asava Kadima was cautious on the matter.

“I cannot really tell whether he (Marin) will be the coach. Sincerely, I’m not aware of the matter because it has not been brought before the National Executive Committee,” Kadima said.

Marin is a vastly knowledgeable on African football having coached Uganda Revenue Authority in 2008 as well as the Eritrea senior and under 17 side.

News of his pending engagement with the Kenyan giants has been rife in the Romanian media though no Ingwe official has come out to clarify the issue.

Last year, Marin coached Ghanaian league side King Faisal Babes which is based in Kumasi, a city situated 257 kilometres northwest of the capital Accra.

TRANSFER TARGETS

At the same time, the club has heightened talks with former Tusker Ugandan defender Martin Kiiza.

Leopards are also wooing Muhoroni Youth’s Collins Neto, Ugandan striker Karim Nduggwa and former Gor Mahia’s wide-man Edwin Lavatsa.

Should the talks be successful, Kiiza will join the den as a free agent having run down his contract at Tusker. Leopards will however have to engage with Uganda’s SC Villa where Nduggwa is still contracted.

Lavatsa on the other hand has not been in competitive football for over six months having left his former club, Algiers FC of Algeria under unclear circumstances.

Last week Leopards organizing secretary Timothy Lilumbi declined to reveal the names of the players they are targeting but was quick to add that they will sign a maximum of five players.

“We have identified some players whom we are talking to, we do not want to reveal their names at this point in time, but we will soon unveil them. We will sign a minimum of three and a maximum of five,” he said.

Ingwe have so far lost reliable defender James Situma to Tusker and midfielder Bernard Mang’oli to Posta Rangers.