• Bandari head coach Bernard Mwalala believes his players have the capacity to return to the next year's next edition of continental football
•Similarly, Kenyan champions Gor Mahia were tossed out of the tournament after going down 3-2 to DC Motema Pembe of DR Congo.
After bitterly exiting the Caf Confederations Cup, Bandari head coach Bernard Mwalala believes his players have the capacity to book a ticket in the next edition by retaining the Shield Cup or winning the league.
Bandari were knocked out of the competition after losing 5-2 on aggregate to Horoya AC of Guinea in the playoff. Similarly, Kenyan champions Gor Mahia were tossed out of the tournament after going down 3-2 to DC Motema Pembe of DR Congo.
The dockers were a win away from advancing to the group stages of the championship but were eliminated by the Guinean giants in what Mwalala termed as lack of experience in his squad.
Initially, the club had cleared the preliminary and first-round hurdles by eliminating Al Ahly Shendi of Sudan and US Ben Guerdane of Tunisia. Having already tested continental football, Mwalala is keen to bounce back next season. He credited their run to their pre-season preparations in South Africa and their participation in the past edition of the Cecafa Kagame Cup.
“I have challenged my players to replicate the fighting spirit they showed in the continental tournament to the local scene. We know for us to return, we have to either win the league or retain the Shield. I am chasing both as we have a good squad which has an edge, thanks to the experience gained in Caf encounters. The league and the Shield are not reserved for specific clubs and since the winners are yet to be declared, we will put a spirited fight to claim both,” he said.
The former Kenyan international disclosed his plan of shipping in a proven goal poacher to consolidate efforts by the duo of Yema Mwamba and Wycliffe Ochomo who have struggled to put their results beyond reach. He also hinted of beefing his midfield to increase the chances being created per game.
“I have to bring in a lethal striker who will convert half a chance to a goal. At the continental level, scoring especially at home matters a lot and we have learnt a lesson. The supply to the strikers is also wanting and this leaves me with no option other than to strengthen the midfield," Mwalala noted.