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Kimani, please don't walk away! Tactician ditches AFC Leopards after Mashemeji Derby draw

FOOTBALL By Washington Onyango | February 9th 2021
AFC Leopards Coach Anthony Kimani after his team lost 1-0 in favour of Wazito FC during FKF Premier League match at Utali Club grounds on Saturday, Jan 10, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Ingwe maintain Anthony is part of the technical bench despite new coach Aussems arriving in the country.

AFC Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda has urged coach Anthony Kimani to stay put at the den despite talk about his departure from the club.

Speaking to the Standard Sports on Monday, Shikanda said he is yet to receive an official resignation letter from Kimani but promised to give a detailed report soon.

“I have heard rumours that Kimani has left the team after the derby but as a club, we have not received any letter from him on the same,” said Shikanda.

“I can only comment further on the matter when I get his letter, for now, I don’t know if he has resigned."

Kimani, who was still an interim coach at Ingwe, is said to have left the club after a 0-0 draw against Gor Mahia in the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League Sunday tie played at Kasarani over the weekend.

Shikanda is now calling upon the former Harambee Stars player to remain at the club since they consider him to be an influential figure in the technical bench.

The chairman said Kimani is part of the club whom they believe they can work together in turning AFC Leopards into champions.

However, according to anonymous sources at the club, Kimani decided to leave his post at the club because he felt he was not being appreciated by the club’s top hierarchy despite his efforts to build a strong team in the 2020-21 campaign.

Chairman AFC Leopards Dan Shikanda announcing Coach Tomas Trucha's resignation from the club in Nairobi. Dec 3, 2020. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Furthermore, Ingwe’s move to hire a foreign tactician, Patrick Aussems, who watched the derby from the stands, is said to have demoralised Kimani who has been the interim coach twice.

“Kimani felt the club was not appreciating his work since he started working as an interim coach,” said the source who did not want to be named.

Kimani could not be reached for a comment. The former Harambee Stars defender first took charge of Ingwe on interim basis when Rwandan tactician Casa Mbungo, now at Bandari, left in December 2019 until Tomas Trucha was appointed before the current season began.

He again assumed the acting roles when Trucha resigned after he had led AFC Leopards to an opening 2-1 win against Tusker.

In the meantime, Leopards chairman Shikanda said former Simba SC head coach Patrick Aussems will officially take charge of the team starting on Tuesday (today).

“Aussems is a very experienced coach and we expect him to fully take charge of the team starting Tuesday as we look forward to building a very competitive team ahead of our next fixture,” Shikanda added.

Leopards are currently fourth in the FKF Premier League standings with 19 points, seven points behind leaders Tusker, but with two games in hand.

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