Bandari muscle up

Boost for Coast-based side in Caf matches as highly rated Burundian shot-stopper joins

In Summary

•Bandari are expected to host Al Ahly Shandy of Sudan today at the Moi Stadium, Kasarani in the first leg of the preliminary round

•The towering shot-stopper who was part of the Burundi national team which took part in the recently concluded Africa Cup of Nations kept 13 clean sheets last season

Justin Ndikumana after winning SJAK Footballer of the Month
Justin Ndikumana after winning SJAK Footballer of the Month
Image: ERICK BARASA

New Bandari goalkeeper and Burundian international Justin Ndikumana is seeking to use his wealth of continental experience to aid the club advance to the later stages of the Caf Confederations Cup.

Ndikumana, who plied his trade with Sofapaka last season, crossed to the dockers yesterday as a replacement for Kenyan international Farouk Shikalo who decamped to record Tanzanian champions Yanga.

Bandari are expected to host Al Ahly Shandy of Sudan today at the Moi Stadium, Kasarani in the first leg of the preliminary round.

The towering shot-stopper who was part of the Burundi national team which took part in the recently concluded Africa Cup of Nations kept 13 clean sheets last season—a number similar to that of Shikalo and he is keen to fit in his predecessor’s shoes.

Ndikumana, who jetted into the country yesterday feels the Afcon experience will be of significance to his new club although he will sit out of today’s match. Bandari, who lost Shikalo, will have to rely on Harambee Stars trialist Michael Wanyika and former Nzoia Sugar goalkeeper Mustapha Odour in today’s encounter which will mark their return to continental football after three years in the cold.

With the arrival of Ndikumana, who prior to Afcon was used in a high profile friendly match pitting 2004 champions Tunisia, vowed to work extra harder in his new home to win titles with the cub.

The Congolese-born player who was part of the massive exodus at Sofapaka for an alleged non-commitment by the management to pay their salaries believes Bandari suits his style of play and expressed optimism that under Razak Siwa, who serves as the goalkeeper coach at the club, he will punch above his weight.

“I am happy to join Bandari who have been doing well in the Kenyan Premier League in the last two seasons. I am aware that the club is participating in continental matches and I believe the exposure from the Afcon will be of great significance to the club. I am looking to give my best to achieve the objectives of the club which I believe among them is winning titles. I made the right choice and I know I am picking from Farouk who has been outstanding for years at the club and I am confident the fans will forget him soon.”

Sofapaka, who handed the player his release letter on Thursday, described him as a professional player. “We want to bring to your esteemed attention the official release of Justin Ndikumana from Sofapaka FC henceforth. This release was done on mutual consent. Further, the club wishes to recommend the player as the most professional football player in his conduct on and off the pitch.

He has been greatly instrumental in uplifting the standards of our football club to greater heights through his football talent and experience,” read part of the letter signed by the 2009 league champions general manager Jimmy Ambajo.