‘He should have accepted to work under Aussems’: Shikanda says of Kimani resignation


'He should have accepted to work under Aussems': Shikanda says of Kimani resignation
Anthony Kimani backs instructions to his AFC Leopards players. PHOTO/Sportpicha/Citizen Digital

In Summary

  • AFC Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda has defended his decision to hire a new foreign coach to take charge of AFC Leopards saying ''time is ripe for the team to have a top coach in Patrick Aussems from Belgium''.
  • Aussems landed in the country on Saturday, on the eve of Mashemeji derby and watched on as Ingwe shared the spoils with Gor Mahia in a barren draw at Kasarani on Sunday.

AFC Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda has defended his decision to hire a new foreign coach to take charge of AFC Leopards saying ”time is ripe for the team to have a top coach in Patrick Aussems from Belgium”.

Aussems landed in the country on Saturday, on the eve of Mashemeji derby and watched on as Ingwe shared the spoils with Gor Mahia in a barren draw at Kasarani on Sunday.

However, no sooner had he arrived than Anthony ‘Modo’ Kimani, a former club captain and the glue that has held the team together since last year even as foreign coaches quit in droves, also threw in the towel.

It remains unclear why Kimani, a sober mind, highly respected in football circles opted to quit but it is widely thought that the introduction of the Belgian could have had a hand in it.

Speculation is also rife that ‘Modo’ could be heading to Mathare United, the club he once turned out for at his prime. Mathare are currently coached by Salim Ali who’s also been linked with a potential move to Gor Mahia to serve as an assistant coach.

Nothing is firmed up yet but should Kimani be unveiled at Mathare, it could trigger a merry-go-round among the aforementioned coaches.

Despite performing exceptionally well in the nine matches this season winning six, losing twice and yesterday’s draw against Gor Mahia, Shikanda says patience was needed.

“Yes, we are awaiting for his(Kimani) resignation letter officially but I told him that it will be a big mistake to his career to walk away,”Shikanda explained.

Kimani has been Leopards assistant coach since 2019 thanks to the then head coach Rwandese Andre Casa Mbungo who gave him the call and opportunity to serve under him.

“He was lucky he has been our assistant coach for so long having been appointed by the previous regime but he should have accepted to work under Aussems,”added Shikanda. “I want Leopards being a top team to have a top coach and players to learn from him and also get that opportunity to grow their talent abroad. Kimani should have been patient and he was in our future plans.”

The Leopards executive has been under immense pressure to give Kimani the job permanently but Shikanda is of the idea that the Kenyan top local coaches like Robert Matano, Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee and Francis Kimanzi have worked under top coaches before their success.

“Registering good results is very important but remember I have players who want to venture abroad and they need the best guidance and advice. If you look at the Kenyan top coaches like Matano (Robert), Mulee (Jacob Ghost) and Kimanzi (Francis) – they were assistants at one time but under who?” Shikanda paused.

Kimani has in the meantime maintained a studious silence over the matter.

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Story By Godfrey Ashiali
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