AFC Leopards yesterday sacked Belgian tactician Luc Eymael and immediately replaced him with Harambee Stars’ assistant coach James Nandwa for the remainder of the season. The club’s National Executive Committee (NEC) also sent packing the entire technical bench and is expected to name new technical officials in due course.
They, however, reappointed legendary Leopards player Mickey Weche as the assistant coach. The writing seem to have been on the wall for Eymael after rubbing shoulders the wrong way with club officials who at one time appointed his assistant Nicholas Muyoti in an acting capacity and threatened severe disciplinary action on the Belgian whom they accused of sabotage and absconding of duty.
“Following a spate of poor results, we convened a NEC meeting yesterday and unanimously decided to terminate the contract of all technical bench officials including head coach Luc Eymael. At the same meeting we decided to appoint James Nandwa as the interim coach for the remaining part of the season and he will be assisted by Mickey Weche as we wait to fill the other positions of the technical bench,” said Leopards chair- man Allan Kasavuli yesterday.
He added: “Nandwa is an experienced coach and we have faith in him. We believe he has the capacity to help the team win their remaining six fixtures in the Kenyan Premier League.” The club’s Secretary General George Aladwa said it was a pity they gave the Belgian tactician everything he needed but he still failed to deliver.
“We ensured that Eymael received all his demands for him to win the league title including giving him a salary increment and shifting the team’s training ground to his preferred venue, but he could not transform that into results as we have recently lost against City Stars, Tusker and Chemelil,” said Aladwa. He added: “We will be introducing Nandwa and Weche to the playing unit today and he is expected to start his work immediately.”
Eymael becomes the ninth coach to be sacked this season after his predecessor Tom Olaba, Karuturi’s duo of Michael Nam and James Omondi, Bandari’s Rishadi Shedu, Sony’s Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo, Kakamega Homeboyz Fred Sirenge and Gor’s Zdravko Logarusic.
Nandwa, who has previously had stints with league champions Tusker, Karuturi Sports and lately Rangers, will have an acid test on his first assignment which is against Chemelil Sugar in GOtv knockout clash at the Afraha Stadium on Saturday. Leopards have turned to be Chemelil’s bogey team, losing all their last four meetings, the last one a 3-1 hiding in a league match last Saturday. – By JAMES WAINDI