AFC is a work in progress, says coach Zapata

first_img0Shares0000AFC Leopards head coach Rudolf Zapata. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYANAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 11 – AFC Leopards head coach Rodolfo Zapata says the club will be a force to reckon over the next two seasons considering the investment they have made with bringing in young players into the squad.Among the players who landed at the den in the June transfer window included the Thika United trio of Eugene Mukangula, Said Tsuma and Saad Musa while midfielder Edward Seda returned to the club after a stint at Mathare United with striker Alex Orotamal arriving from Rwanda. “We need to fight for the league title this year, but also, we are building a powerful team for the next two seasons. We need to be patient especially with the new players who need to adapt, but I know that if we keep this project then we will dominate football because AFC is a big team,” the tactician said.AFC Leopards fans celebrating. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYAAFC is placed fourth in the Kenyan Premier League standings and despite sitting a massive 14 points behind eternal rivals and leaders Gor Mahia, Zapata says he will not give up the chase for the league title.Ingwe were 1-0 winners over Sony Sugar over the weekend and the win was an encouragement for Zapata that his side can challenge for the crown.“I am very happy with the players because we performed very well and created many opportunities to score. Even the last game we lost 3-0, we still played very well and created more chances than the home team. We should continue in this way,” the tactician added.-Sofapaka warns Gor-Sofapaka bench led by head coach John Baraza (center). Photo/RAYMOND MAKAHAYAMeanwhile, Sofapaka head coach John Baraza has warned Gor Mahia they will not relinquish the fight for the league title easily, despite being nine points behind the leaders who have a three-game deficit.Sofapaka beat Mathare United 3-2 over the weekend to narrow the gap and Baraza who won the title with Batoto ba Mungu as a player in 2009 says they will push on with their focus left on winning their matches.“The league is still open. As much as Gor have those matches at hand, they will have to fight for the points on the pitch. This is football; anything can happen. We still have a lot of hopes and ours is just to keep winning our games and see what happens at the end,” Baraza said.Sofapaka have a five point deficit between them and third placed Bandari FC and Baraza is confident that at worse, if their league ambitions do not come to fruition, they will ensure the worst they finish is second.Sofapaka’s Pistone Mutamba in action against their Mathare United clash. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYAMeanwhile, Mathare United who earlier on in the season looked like title favorites, have fizzled away winning only one of their last 12 games, drawing eight and losing three.Despite the poor run, head coach Francis Kimanzi remains confident his charges can bounce back to winning ways though fighting for the league title now seems like a far-fetched dream as they lay 15 points behind the league leaders.“Of course you have to get worried when things do not go your way but I know our win is coming. We have to work on our mistakes especially minimizing the defensive errors and ensure we are better in scoring. That’s the only way we can rise back,” Kimanzi mentioned.The tactician was disappointed in the 3-2 defeat to Sofapaka noting that they gave away cheap goals through defensive errors and has called on his team to up their game as the league enters the business end.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

LAUSD lacks a commitment to kids and community

first_imgAnd then they charge them for it. To collect a measly $3.8 million for maintenance, the LAUSD is fixing to levy a fee on nonprofit organizations that want to use school facilities and fields. This proposal could have widespread ramifications on the city’s youth sports organizations at the very time when city leaders are talking about launching new activities to counter gangs. This fee could very possibly derail sports activities for poorer kids. While $3.8 million is barely a blip to the district’s $6.4 billion budget, it would cost the Northridge City Little League about $2,000 a week for the 12-week season. No doubt that cost will be passed on to players’ families. The argument is that the schools should charge what the city and other districts do. That might be a good argument if the district’s only mission were to raise money – but we would hope the district’s mission is much larger than that. ONCE upon a time, when LAUSD officials were trying to sell the people of Los Angeles on costly school building bonds, they spoke of the new schools as magical places where the community would come together and reconnect. These newly built campuses around the city and region would not just be houses of education, they would be community centers where all manner of activities beneficial would occur. It was a good tactic, and the people of Los Angeles bought it time and again, willingly accepting a $15 billion burden to create these pillars of the community and education. Now that the money is in the bank and those construction projects are far along, the truth of that promise is wearing thin. Los Angeles Unified School District officials clearly still see the campuses as theirs, and only grudgingly allow the community in which they reside to use them. Not only does this pay-to-play proposal fly in the face of the prevailing collective desire to create more activities to keep kids off the city’s streets, it’s also factually wrong. The people have already paid for these fields and their upkeep. They own them – not the bureaucrats running the Los Angeles Unified School District. The public’s taxes are supposed to provide enough money to maintain the schools. Or at least they should. Unfortunately, the bureaucracy so often chooses to spend funds on more bureaucracy and fewer things that benefit kids. If it really needs the cash, perhaps it would make more sense to ask the city to divert some of the millions it already spends on anti-gang programs that don’t work. If the LAUSD follows through with this pay-to-play plan for community sports groups, it will show more than anything that the district has lost sight of its responsibility to the children and the community. And if it’s lost that, than how can the public trust anything it does?160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more