•Juma said the 13-time Kenyan Premier League champions have already embarked on preparations for the new season and will be going full throttle for the title they last won in 1998.
•Juma said striker Bienvenue Shaka is the only one who is yet to show up for training, adding he could not account for the Burundian's whereabouts.
AFC Leopards head coach Patrick Aussems is set to arrive in the country on Thursday, team manager Tom Juma has confirmed.
Juma sought to dispel speculations that Aussems deserted the den after failing to fire them to their 14th title since 1998.
"I can assure you that Aussems will be in the country on Thursday to guide Ingwe in the new season," Juma revealed.
The Belgian took over from local tactician Anthony Kimani who quit in a huff after their goalless Mashemeji derby against arch-rivals Gor Mahia at Moi Stadium Kasarani on February 7. Kimani has since joined coastal side Bandari as Casa Mbungo's assistant.
Juma said the 13-time Kenyan Premier League champions have already embarked on preparations for the new season and will be going full throttle for the title next season.
"Our objective throughout the years has been to bag a silverware each season and it hasn't changed at all. We began our training sessions on Monday at Camp Toyoyo and the boys are responding really well," said Juma.
Leopards almost ended their 20-year title drought, only to fizzle out to a fourth place finish after blowing hot and cold in their last fixtures.
Juma also said striker Bienvenue Shaka is the only one who is yet to show up for training, adding he could not account for the Burundian's whereabouts.
"Shaka is yet to report and actually he is not even in the country. I wouldn't really say with certainty he'll be back for the new season," said Juma.
Shaka threatened to quit the den over claims he had been spending his nights in the cold after being locked out of his house in Fedha estate.
Sounding quite livid and desperate in an exclusive interview with The Star, the 21-year-old placed his predicament entirely at the feet of the Kenyan club, claiming they have failed to pay him his salary for the last five months.
“I’ve not been paid my salary for the last five months. I’m also demanding allowances for the last 10 matches. In total, the club owes me US$21,000, including $12,000 as signing fee that they are yet to pay,” said Shaka.
He played a key role at the heart of Leopards’ striking force since his arrival in October from Tunisian top division side Etoile Sportif du Sahel, finding the back of the net four times this season.
Despite his impressive performance, shaka said things had not been rosy as he increasingly found himself stuck between a rock and a hard place.
However, Juma remains optimistic about Shaka's future in the club, pointing out he still has at least a half a year left on his contract that runs out in February.
Meanwhile Juma says Leopards have plunged themselves into the ongoing transfer market to acquire fresh talent.
"We have identified quite a number of players whom we intend to bring on board for the new season. We shall soon be revealing the crucial changes the club intends to effect ahead of the new season," said Juma.