WRONG MOVE

Respect KPL coaches, Aussems tells Transition Committee

Aussems said the Committee's decision to postpone the new season amounted to utter disrespect for local tacticians who have spent months investing in preparations.

In Summary

•The league had originally been slated for August 27 before it was pushed back to September 10.

•However, the Transition Committee went ahead and postponed the season again to September 24.

AFC Leopards coach Patrick Aussems with his players in a past match
AFC Leopards coach Patrick Aussems with his players in a past match
Image: ERICK BARASA

AFC Leopards' head coach Patrick Aussems has viciously tore into the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Transition Committee for postponing the new Kenyan Premier League season for the second time in less than a month.

The league had originally been slated for August 27 before it was pushed back to September 10. However, the Transition Committee went ahead and procrastinated the season again to September 24, much to the disenchantment of local tacticians.

Aussems said the Committee's decision amounted to utter disrespect for coaches who had spent several months heavily investing in preparations.

“It's obvious that whoever makes such decisions does not respect professional coaches. We train and play according to the guidelines given by league organizers. Unfortunately, we received the information we have to wait for another two weeks before we can finally begin,” Aussems lamented.

The Belgian gaffer further added that the move had left Kenyan football with an egg on the face and blemished the country's image in the eyes of the world.

“We are accustomed to shifting the goal posts at the eleventh hour and it's a high time we departed from the habit because it merely serves to prove we lack professionalism in how we run Kenyan football,” Aussems said.

“Other clubs might be comfortable with the changes made by the federation but the whole thing is annoying.”

Leopards were set to open their account against last season's runners-up Kakamega Homeboyz at Bukhungu Stadium in the Week One fixtures released by the TC.

The Patrick Aussems-tutored side's preseason schedule includes a trip to Western Kenya ahead of their opening fixture on September 24.

Their fortunes have been boosted by a three-year Sh195 million sponsorship deal they landed with betting firm Betika.

Despite boasting deep pockets now, the 13-time Kenyan champions will have to rely on a squad largely comprising players drawn from the academy side.

Efforts to bolster their squad have been frustrated by an existing transfer embargo imposed by the world football governing body, Fifa, earlier in the year.

Leopards lost their star players following a mass exodus after the 2020/2021 season and had to turn to their academy side for options. They shook off a torrid start to crack a top-five finish last season.

Aussems' concerns come days after KCB head coach Zedekiah 'Zico' Otieno also lashed out at the Transition Committee, saying the frequent delays had thrown his preparations into disarray.

The KCB gaffer urged the KPL organizers to exhibit professionalism by sticking to one date.

“The league managers should identify one date and stick to it. We began early preparations knowing the league would kick off on August 27. It went ahead and set the new date for September 10. Now we are being told it's September 24,” said the visibly agitated tactician.

 

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