|Who’s the coach?|
|Tuesday, 13 December 2011 13:15|
Apart from the many AFC Leopards’ elections nothing recurred as numerous as the coaches hired and fired from clubs in the KPL season 2011. We took a tour of just a few of them last week.
The distress on everyone’s face was obviously how the financially handicapped Rangers FC managed to sail through the season with several worries around their neck including the very basic question of their legitimacy in the league. They started the season on a high crushing Gor Mahia 3-0 under the gambling hands of Coach David Ouma assisted by Michael Nam. Ouma was on and off the team for quite some time invited a lot of speculations about his ‘poor health’ and future at the club. At some point Michael Nam was fully in charge of the club.
Very few people recall that Sony FC started the season officially under the services of legend John Bobby Ogola who was not even allowed to meet the players. The fans were angry at the Management’s decision to fire their darling coach Francis Baraza. Oliktiga, a Sony FC fan who owns a carpentry shop in Awendo town, confided in me that he would block the road leading to Awendo Green Stadium should Bobby contemplate taking over. Before long, the Sony management heeded to the cry of the people and look who’s laughing now! Baraza has helped Sony secure a place in the top 8 and is now assistant to Francis Kimanzi at Harambee Stars.
The turmoil and eventual survival of City Stars was a drama worth savoring by pundits. The club, that prides itself in being the seasonal boggy team on Gor Mahia’s path, started the season with ex Gor player Ken Odhiambo as coach. The game seemed to have been quite tight for Ken and he was forced to go on leave at some point prompting the arrival of Gideon Ochieng’, another ex Gor. Gideon, who was sacked from Congo Utd through a text message on phone, came in at City’s most urgent time; they were facing relegation and he had to work out a formula to keep the Kawangware boys in the topflight football. He did it then did the unthinkable in this part of the world; resign after helping them avoid relegation.
While we talk about big moves of the season don’t forget to mention that Nick Yakhama started the season as head coach at Chemelil FC before Ingwe came calling. He left sugar for sugar which later turned out to be bitter sugar. Coach Manoah took over from him and managed to help Chemelil put a strong chase to league leaders and finish in a good position.
The relegated Bandari FC did have a go at this remembering Oliver Bango at the helm before passing the baton to the mouthy Rishadi Shedu. My favorite coach will always be Juma Abdala of Thika Utd who, before leaving for Congo Utd, was KPL’s longest serving coach. I admired his press conferences where he always stuck to Swahili while Kimanzi and Zico were busy aping Euro-accents in English.