Kenyan Premier League: Impressive beginning for Odero, Barasa, and Odhiambo in their coaching careers
Former Chemelil Sugar captain makes a winning debut, Sofapaka and Sony Sugar coaches begin with draws.
New coaches made fairly good starts to their coaching careers at their new clubs in last weekend’s round 11 of the Kenyan Premier League.
Sony Sugar’s Patrick Odhiambo and Sofapaka’s John Barasa were both in the dugouts as their sides shared the spoils in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Ruaraka.
Odhiambo ditched Chemelil Sugar last week to join rivals Sony, who had fired Salim Babu after a series of poor results, while Barasa was temporarily elevated to the head coach position at Batoto Ba Mungu following the exit of his boss, Sam Ssimbwa.
The Ugandan threw in the towel after their shock 2-1 defeat to struggling Thika United, accusing the players of sabotaging him.
David Simiyu cancelled out Mathias Kigonya’s first-half penalty to secure a vital point for 10-man Sony.
The millers had to play almost the entire second half a man less after Samuel Olare was given his matching orders for an off-the-ball incident.
With the hard fought draw, Odhiambo is confident of turning around the fortunes of the 2006 league champions.
“I think that’s a good start for me, bearing in mind that I had only trained with the team for a week. The boys showed a lot of character and eventually got an equaliser despite going one man down,” Odhiambo told The Standard Sports.
“Apart from a positive start, Sunday's game also gave me an opportunity to assess the players.”
But it was Odhiambo’s successor, Charles Odero, who was the happiest of the three coaches when he made a winning debut with Chemelil Sugar. The former Chemelil captain was on the touchline as Collins Neto’s brace inspired them to a 3-1 win over newcomers Wazito to go level on points (16) with seventh-placed Ulinzi Stars and eighth-ranked Nzoia Sugar.
“I’m glad to have ended the team’s three games winless run on my debut. There was nothing miraculous we did, we just motivated the boys by talking to them,” said Odero. “There is pressure from all quarters. Remember, our sponsors are going through financial crisis, but I know how to handle the situation.”