Leopards turn to Argentinian magic, appoint Zapata as new head coach


Leopards turn to Argentinian magic, appoint Zapata as new head coach
MOLEPOLOLE 15 October 2016 Gaborone United coach Rodolph Zapata during the BTC premiership match between Gaborone United (GU) and Jwaneng Galaxy at the Molepolole Sports Complex in Molepolole on 15 October 2016. The match ends with 1-1 draw. (Pic:MONIRUL BHUIYAN/PRESS PHOTO)

In Summary

  • AFC Leopards have appointed Argentinian Rodolfo Zapata to replace the out-going Tanzanian Dennis Kitambi as the new head coach.
  • The 51-year old has previously played as a custodian while at Huracan, Sportivo Italiano, Racing de Olavarría, Club Atlético San Miguel and Cipolletti de Rio Negro.
  • This transition period is expected to help him settle down and learn the ropes in the Kenyan Premier League, before taking charge.

AFC Leopards have appointed Argentine Rodolfo Zapata to replace the out-going Tanzanian Dennis Kitambi as the new head coach.

The 51-year old has previously played as a custodian while at Huracan, Sportivo Italiano, Racing de Olavarría, Club Atlético San Miguel and Cipolletti de Rio Negro.

Zapata also has a wealth of experience and has extensively worked in Africa, coaching Gaborone United (Botswana), MP Black Aces FC (South Africa), and Sunshine Stars FC (Nigeria).

He takes over a side that has registered four wins, a loss and two draws in their last seven Kenyan Premier League matches.

Sources at the club confirmed to Citizen Digital  that Zapata has been appointed after a  stiff vetting process, beating Tanzanian Salim Mayanga and French man Didier Gomez Da Rosa.

“It’s confirmed.We have chosen the Argentinian Zapata (Rodolfo) after yesterday’s(Monday) meeting,”said the source.

The club has in the last two weeks been vetting various coaches who were short-listed for the job, with the club executives keen to settle on a candidate who would stick to the philosophy laid by the outgoing Tanzanian.

Kitambi is heading to Bangladesh on May 8 to pursue his coaching studies as well as work under his mentor, Stewart Hall, who is in charge of Sai Sporting Club.

Zapata becomes Leopards 13th coach in one year and faces an uphill task of fulfilling the executive’s target of winning the domestic league this term.

Kitambi will however be in charge of Leopards until May 7, giving an opportunity to Zapata to watch his new team play Bandari FC, Kariobangi Sharks,Vihiga United and Chemelil Sugar.

This transition period is expected to help him settle down and learn the ropes in the Kenyan Premier League before he takes charge.

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