Trouble in AFC Leopards' den as new coach Tomas Trucha resigns after one match

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

AFC Leopards were yesterday putting on a brave face despite serious fall-out within the club including the resignation of head coach Tomas Trucha, one match into the new FKF Premier League season.

Trucha’s resignation may just be a tip of the rhinoceros’ horn surrounding player signings, alleged inflated transfer fees, division in the management and multiple agents claiming to be working for the Kenyan giants.

Though the Dan Shikanda-led National Executive Committee (NEC) had won the trust of many fans with their professionalisation of the club barely two years after assuming into office, it appears things in the den are going back to the default settings.

Everything seemed to be falling in place for AFC with the team beating Tusker 2-1 in their opening match of the 2020/21 FKF-Premier League season before hell broke loose leading Trucha’s resignation.

The Czech, who joined AFC in October, confirmed his resignation in yesterday’s press conference alleging fear for his life and external interference of his job with a section of fans accusing his agent Prince Channis of influencing the coach’s decisions.

Interestingly, Channis has not terminated his contract with the club.

“I’m sorry that we are in this situation right now. There are a lot of twists on this issue more so on social media, but I would like to make it clear that my agent (Prince) never forced me to field the players,” said Trucha.

“But even if he did it, we won. Did he do something wrong? So why are some people attacking him that he forced the coach to field some players yet we won?

Trouble in AFC Leopards' den as new coach Tomas Trucha resigns after one match

From left- AFC National Treasurer Maurice Chichi, Chairman AFC Leopards Dan Shikanda, announcing Coach Tomas Trucha’s resignation from the club in Nairobi. Dec 3, 2020. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

“I don’t see the sense in it unless there is something personal and somebody wants to hurt him. I only used players who worked hard in the preseason.”

Trucha’s immediate deputy Anthony Kimani has been elevated back to the head coach role ahead of this Sunday’s match against Bidco United.

AFC Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda said: “We tried to convince the coach, but he had already made up his mind due to his safety. Kimani will take over the coaching role again. There is a lot of infighting in the club, but we will try to manage it.”

His decision to throw in the towel looks to have opened a can of worms in the den with reports that Channis had pushed him to sign more foreign players against the required quota of five players.

Though he showed some glimpses of his tactical nous on his debut last Saturday, the Czech had a confrontation with one of the technical bench members, who had questioned the inclusion of an unregistered Ghanaian player Ibrahima Ganiu in the match day squad.

Prior to that, Ganiu’s fellow countryman Gideon Waja had failed to show up for the Tusker match claiming to be ill despite being in the final squad. This complicated the technical bench’s plans as they had to play with less one (six instead of seven) on the bench after the late inclusion of youngster Omar Somobwana who had gone to watch the match. Both Ganiu and Waja are reportedly managed by Channis.

 

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