• Dutchman Patrick Aussems is building a group of passionate and hungry players
• The youngsters have taken to the top flight as a fish to water
Traditionally, I am a Gor Mahia fan. But I have to admit AFC Leopards have been the most exciting team this season. How they are not higher the league table than their current ninth position surprises me.
That being said, Dutchman Patrick Aussems is building a group of young, passionate and hungry players, who will do wonders for Ingwe in the coming seasons if the team remains intact.
Last weekend, they claimed the scalp of Wazito, only a week after their methodical 3-0 demolition of Kenya Police. John Makwatta's overhead goal against the law enforcers is undoubtedly the goal of the season in the Kenya Premier League.
Brian Wanyama, Dan Musamali, Marvin Nabwire and Lewis Bandi are some of the youngsters who have caught the eye with their performances in the league this season.
Despite their promotion from Ingwe's youth team, the youngsters have taken to the top flight as fish to water. Mentoring them to fulfil their potential are old heads in the form of Makwatta, Eugene Mukangula and Cliff Nyakeya.
Having been there and done that, the trio have been integral in enabling Ingwe take tough matches by the scruff, by virtue of their experience. This mix of experience and youth in the current squad ensures continuity in the team, with minimal interruptions when the older players make way for others.
I would really love for this team to stick together with Aussems at the helm. He seems to be a man on a mission to transform Ingwe from docile cats into Africa's most ferocious felines.
It also helps that the club supremo, Dan Shikanda, is a former Ingwe player and probably is in a better position to understand how it feels like to don the famous blue and white.
This is notwithstanding the persistent financial troubles affecting the club, leading to delayed payment of player salaries. Just like their arch rivals K'Ogalo, Leopards have grappled with constant threats of players striking.
Undoubtedly, this is the biggest stumbling block to any long-term plans. With the constant frustration of waiting too long for your salary, Ingwe players are easy pickings for football moneybags.
Also, Aussems has in the past spoken of his frustrations with the club leadership. If these concerns remain unresolved, it will only be a matter of time before he throws in the towel and returns to his native Netherlands.
This would be a sad ending to one of the most exciting youth projects we have witnessed in recent times in Kenyan football. Leopards last won the national league in 1998, and it helps that their fans are patient and passionate.
If things continue to improve and youngsters deliver, then AFC Leopards may feature in the league title race in the coming season... or the next one after that.