By JAMES WAINDI
"Support me the way you did in 2009 and I will win the season for." This was Nick Yakhama’s appeal to the passionate AFC Leopards coach fans when he was unveiled as the club’s new tactician at the City Stadium on Thursday.
Yakhama, who makes a comeback to the club after veteran Robert Matano was sacked on Sunday after the team lost to Congo United, said it needed two to tangle to get the needed results, and urged the fans not to expect results without their support. Nick Yakhama, AFC Leopards news coach
Nick Yakhama, AFC Leopards news coach
"I am aware that this seat is very hot, but I have been at AFC Leopards before and I’m ready for the challenge. All I need is support from all stake holders, I know everyone want to see the club be successful and that can only work when the players, technical bench, administration and the fans work together," said Yakhama.
He added: "In 2009 when the team was in brink of relegation the support I received was massive that saw me win six matches draw three matches and lose only two to steer the club from 16th position to ninth. The manner in which my job ended at the club was not good and it takes a big heart to return to the same club, but I can say it is just because of my love for the team."
Leopards chairman Alex Ole Magelo said he was glad to unveil the new coach and noted that his ultimate objective was to return Leopards to it’s lost glory.
"His impressive credentials include saving this great club from relegation in 2009 as coach, repeating the same feat at Chemelil in 2010 and winning the Kenyan Premier League title unbeaten while at Mumias Sugar in the 2004/2005 season.
As a top former Kenya international, he posses all the credentials to navigate the pressures of a big club like AFC Leopards," said Magelo.
Yakhama, who joins AFC Leopards after being showed the door at Chemelil Sugar at the weekend, said he is targeting a top eight position by the time the season takes a break in June, before launching an assault for the title which they last won in 2008.
"At the moment any team including bottom placed Congo United stand a mathematical chance of winning the league and my short term plan with this team is to ensure that we are in the top eight by mid season then we can go for the title in the second leg depending on the signings we would have done in mid season," said Yakhama.