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Ayimba tipped for Kenya Harlequin job

Last updated 9 months ago | By Clement Wekulo

Former national Sevens coach Benjamin Ayimba [Courtesy]

Former national Sevens coach Benjamin Ayimba is a leading candidate for the head coach job at Kenya Harlequin following the resignation of Charles Cardovillis last week.

Cardovillis, who was appointed by the Ngong Road-based club last year after a brief stint at Kabras Sugar, stepped down citing personal reasons and according to the club’s chairman Michael Wanjala, their current assistant coach Ayimba could be considered ahead of the 2019-20 15s season which starts next weekend with the Impala Floodlit tournament.

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“That is still a matter under discussion but for now he (Ayimba) is serving as head coach in an acting capacity. We shall meet and probably make a decision before the end of the week,” Wanjala told Standard Sport.

While admitting that Cardovillis’ resignation is a big blow for them, Wanjala said they trust their technical bench as currently constituted and there should be no cause for alarm.

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“Cardovillis’ contribution to the club will be missed but the good thing about us is that we have enough brains at the club and we trust some of our former players. We shall ensure his departure does not have a big impact,” he said.

Quins, who finished third during the regular 2018-19 Kenya Cup season with 53 points before losing to eventual winners KCB in the semifinals, will begin their quest for a first Kenya Cup title since 2012 with an away match against Homeboyz on October 26.

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Kenya Harlequin’s Ngong Road neighbours Impala Saracens have also suffered a similar fate with their head coach Frank Ndong’ leaving the club. Ndong’ is expected to be replaced by Nakuru RFC’s Mitch Ocholla with former Kenya Sevens international Oscar Osir retaining the assistant coach position.

Ocholla, who is also a former international, leaves Nakuru RFC after two seasons having led them to a third-place finish in the 2018-19 Kenya Cup regular season.

Before the Kenya Cup season commences, clubs will converge at the Impala Club for the Floodlit tournament which will be used to test their systems as well as some of their new signings.

The Floodlit tournament will be played over three weekends between next Saturday and October 12 with teams competing in the Schools, Ladies, Universities and Clubs categories.