Kanuli carries special memories from Shabana as he takes the mantle at Nzoia


Nzoia FC players celebrates scoring against Tusker FC during their SportPesa Premier League match at ...
Nzoia FC players celebrates scoring against Tusker FC during their SportPesa Premier League match at Afraha stadium in Nakuru on March 11, 2017. Nzoia United FC won 5-2. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha

In Summary

  • After a few months of uncertainty regarding his future, former Shabana FC coach Andrew Rix Kanuli will take over the mantle at Nzoia FC after agreeing on personal terms with the Mumias Complex based side.
  • His arrival means a new direction to the sugar millers that finished 12th in the 2018/19 season as they bid to climb higher in the log next season.

After a few months of uncertainty regarding his future, former Shabana FC coach Andrew Rix Kanuli will take over the mantle at Nzoia FC after agreeing on personal terms with the Mumias Complex based side.

His arrival means a new direction to the sugar millers that finished 12th in the 2018/19 season as they bid to climb higher in the log next season.

He replaces Godfrey Oduor who moved to KCB to take over as assistant coach.

He already has his work cut out with the club aiming to finish in the first five positions in the league.

Speaking to Citizen Digital, Kanuli says that despite the myriad challenges he faced while at Shabana, his time with the glamour boys made him a better coach.

He also sees the leap to KPL as an invaluable opportunity to hone his skills in elite Kenyan football.

“I gave my best at Shabana, and that’s why opportunities like this one came my way. This is a good challenge for me, and also it is a chance for me to grow since I will be testing my abilities against the best in Kenyan football.

“I grew a lot there because I held various responsibilities. I started as the team manager, then assistant coach and again head coach once the team got promoted to the National Super League.”

Having come through the ranks at Shabana, Kanuli says working under seasoned instructors helped shape his career in football management.

“I got the opportunity to attend coaching classes and also work with experienced coaches, for instance, Gilbert Selebwa and James Nandwa.

“I’m sure it is the right time to head an organization and Nzoia presents that opportunity.”

With a top-five finish in the KPL on the cards, he understands that he will need to bring out the best in his charges at Nzoia Sugar.

“First of all, I will have to assess the talent and individual skills of my players before deciding on which formation and playing identity that fits them,” he argued.

His versatility to adopt different formations perhaps will do the trick for him as he aims to upgrade their performances next season.

“I’m flexible since I can play with different formations, this will help the team play to its strengths. It’s going to be tough given that I am moving from NSL to KPL.”

Even with all the controversies that surrounded his exit from Shabana, Kanuli leaves the club with fond memories and wishes them the best as they aim to achieve promotion target.

“I thank all Shabana fans for the love they showed me while I was there. My dream was to see the team get promoted to the KPL, but I know with Selebwa they are in safe hands.

“I pray that one day they will get promoted because that will make the top league even more interesting. Shabana is among the few teams that enjoy a huge fan base, and that will help KPL in making more fans attend games,” he added.

Nzoia Sugar will get their 2018/19 season underway when they take on newly-promoted Wazito FC on August 31 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

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Story By Dan Ogega
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