Ingwe have, however, failed to disclose the length of the contract handed to the first new player under coach Aussems
Football Federation Premier League side AFC Leopards have confirmed the signing of Tedian Esilaba from Nairobi City Stars.
Esilaba has arrived at the club that is rebuilding in order to re-establish themselves as heavyweights in a league that has been dominated by their Mashemeji rivals Gor Mahia over the last decade.
“AFC Leopards announce the signing of central defender Tedian Esilaba,” the 13-time league winners confirmed on Sunday.
“Esilaba previously featured for Nairobi City Stars and helped them win promotion to the Premier League. He has also played for Administration Police FC and Bidco FC.
“He will don jersey number 5. Please join us in welcoming Esilaba to the Den.”
The defender said that the move will help him achieve even more with a club he described as a great one.
“I am happy and humbled to join AFC Leopards as it means a lot to my career. AFC Leopards are a great club and a great platform for my career,” Esilaba said as he was confirmed at the Den.
“I feel it’s the right time for me to join the club at the moment. I’m ready and focused on the task ahead and I’m ready to fight for my space in the starting team.”
Eyes will now be on Esilaba to see whether he will negotiate his way into the starting team where Robinson Kamura and Clyde Senaji have been regularly used at the back.
Previous injuries to Robert Ayala and Kamura saw defensive midfielder Collins Shichenje deployed at centre-back especially during last season. The former Green Commandos star had to partner with Soter Kayumba, who left Ingwe at the end of 2019 when the club was under severe financial turmoil.
Esilaba made his name at Nairobi City Stars – a club he joined from Fortune Sacco in January 2020 – as he was part of the players that helped Simba wa Nairobi earn promotion.
Nairobi City Stars were dominant and leading at the time when the NSL was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and were consequently promoted after failing to do so in previous attempts since their 2016 relegation.
At AFC Leopards, Esilaba will work with a new coach, Patrick Aussems, who was appointed to take over from then-interim tactician Anthony Kimani. The former Harambee Star – who left after the 0-0 Mashemeji derby draw against K’Ogalo – had inherited the first team responsibilities from Tomas Trucha.
The former Orapa United coach left AFC Leopards after just a game citing threats to his life.
The next game for Ingwe – which could be the first one for Esilaba – will be against Bandari at Mbaraki Stadium on February 19.