SPLIT OPINION

Are local football coaches children of a lesser god?

Veteran coach Sammy 'Pamzo' Omollo, who was recently relieved of his duties at Posta Rangers, observes that, whereas clubs have every right to pressurize local coaches for results, they must provide a conducive working environment.

In Summary

•On Monday, a distraught AFC Leopards head coach Anthony 'Modo' Kimani tendered his resignation in a huff, exactly a day after guiding his side to a barren draw in a league affair against arch-rivals Gor Mahia.

•Former Posta Rangers coach Sammy 'Pamzo' Omollo, who was recently relieved of his duties, admits that whereas clubs have every right to demand results from coaches they must provide an appropriate pot in which results can be adequately fermented.

Outgoing AFC Leopards coach Antony Kimani issues instructions to his players during their Premier League match against Kariobangi Sharks at Moi Stadium, Kasarani Annex
Outgoing AFC Leopards coach Antony Kimani issues instructions to his players during their Premier League match against Kariobangi Sharks at Moi Stadium, Kasarani Annex
Image: ERICK BARASA

On Monday, a distraught AFC Leopards head coach Anthony 'Modo' Kimani tendered his resignation in a huff, exactly a day after guiding his side in the Mashemeji derby against arch-rivals Gor Mahia.

One might spontaneously jump to the conclusion that Kimani buckled up under pressure to quit office after the 13-time Kenyan Premier League champions extended their five-year winless spell against K'Ogalo.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Sources privy to the intrigues at Ingwe revealed that the 31-year-old former Harambee Stars defender felt exasperated after the management brought in a foreign tactician, Patrick Aussems.

“He was upset by the move to bring in a foreign coach after he had done a brilliant job developing a winning team. The club is also yet to give him a contract — on the basis that he doesn’t have requisite papers — and this has not gone down well with him," said the source.

This is not the first time Kenyan clubs are snubbing local coaches for foreigners. Interestingly, the bug seems to have caught up with the national team, where a similar trend is being replicated. Could it be that local coaches lack the requisite finesse to deliver?

Veteran coach Sammy 'Pamzo' Omollo, who was recently relieved of his duties at Posta Rangers, observes that, whereas clubs have every right to pressurize local coaches for results, they must provide a conducive working environment.

"Kenyan coaches are not given the support they deserve to perform.  For me to win the league, you should give me quality players and the proper financial assistance needed to achieve such objectives," says Omollo.

Omollo points out that club owners expect too much too soon."Success doesn't come overnight. It takes a lot of time for one to develop a winning team but club owners lack the patience, demanding instant results," adds Omollo.

Mathare United's Salim Ali blames negative perception for the fate of local coaches.

"It boils down to the perception that foreigners are better coaches yet, in real sense, local coaches — who are offered low pay — perform much better than foreign tacticians who pocket more money," says Ali.

George Oduor, who won three national titles with school games giants St. Anthony's and the East and Central African title with Barding High School, looks at the whole issue from a different perspective.

"In Kenya, connection beats talent. It really doesn't matter what credentials one has. We have coaches who are given the opportunity to handle the national teams yet they have nothing much to show for in terms of track records," says Oduor.

Gaspo Women head coach Edward Githua chooses to be philosophical.

"Hiring a foreign coach has both its advantages and disadvantages. Local players tend to respect them than local tacticians," concludes Githua.

It's high time local clubs woke up and smelled the coffee. Given the appropriate environment, Kenyan-bred coaches can move mountains. All they need is the right environment to propel them even further.