Gor Mahia appoint Dylan Kerr as coach, AFC Leopards opt for Matano

By alex wafula
Jul 05, 2017
  • Gor Mahia new coach arrives before their departude to Dar es Salaam for a friendly with Everton FC. (SNA. File Photo)

  • AFC Leopards have turned to former coach Robert Matano to steady their performance in the KPL. (SNA. File Photo)

Englishman Dylan Kerr has been appointed as the new Gor Mahia coach.

The club made the announcement on their official website with the tactician scheduled to arrive in the country on Sunday, a day before they depart to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for their friendly match against English Premier League side Everton FC.

Kerr was among the final two coaches shortlisted by the Gor Mahia management to take over the role left vacant by Brazilian Jose Marcelo Ferreira.

The second candidate was Italian Stephano Maccoppi, who is the immediate former head coach of Romanian second tier side Ceahlăul Piatra Neamt.

“The decision to appoint Kerr comes after an executive committee meeting held o Tuesday evening,” Gor Mahia announced.

Kerr has already worked in East Africa, having previously coached Tanzanian giants Simba SC between 2014 and 2015. Prior to his appointment as Gor Mahia’s new boss, Kerr was working as the Chesterfield FC Under-18 coach back in his native England.

The 50-year old is a former Leeds United and Reading FC defender. He has also managed Vietnamese top tier side Hải Phòng.

Previously, he worked as part of the technical team at the Vietnamese National Team for the Suzuki Cup and Asian Games, assisting the technical bench and heading the Fitness program.

Zedekiah Otieno has been holding brief since the departure of the Brazilian Ferreira who went on to join Albanian top tier side KF Tirana. Otieno will now drop back to his role as assistant coach, but it is yet to be understood whether the Briton will come with his own backroom staff.

Matano returns to Ingwe

Meanwhile, AFC Leopards is set to appoint their former boss Robert Matano back to the helm. Matano who coached the club in 2010 and 2011 is set to become the club’s fourth coach this season.

Tom Olaba had been previously appointed to take charge till the end of the season after the departure of Romanian Dorian Marin. Marin had served for only two weeks before the Ingwe management made an about turn on handing him a contract.

He had come in to take over after the departure of Stewart Hall. “We have talked to Matano and there is an agreement that he will join the team as from Monday. We know he is a great coach and especially with his tough discipline record, we know he is going to put the team back to shape,” Dan Mule, the AFC Leopards chair said in a brief response.

The news though comes as assistant coach Dennis Kitambi, who was set to be named Team Manager under the new structure told players in training he will be resigning at the end of the month.

Sports News Arena understands that Kitambi was less than impressed with the new role as TM.

The club has sent packing their Team Manager Tonny Lidonde as well as goalkeeper trainer Alex Mwangi over what was termed as an internal issue.

Kitambi was to scale down as the new TM, also doubling up as an analyst while Tom Juma would occupy the slot of assistant coach under Matano.

Ingwe has been struggling this season and are currently lodged at 12th on the Kenyan Premier league standings. The club has been winless over their last eight league assignments and Matano who has been coaching second tier side Bidco United will have a lot on his plate.

But for a man who is the only coach to win the league title with two different teams, it should be no gigantic task getting the team to tick again.

After leaving Tusker at the end of the 2013 season having won the league title, Matano joined Ulinzi Stars and lifted all the way to a fourth spot finish, having found them in the bottom half of the log.

He led them to finish third and second in the years that followed before his contract ended last season. He moved back to Nairobi on the backdrop of health challenges and worked with Nairobi City Stars in January before shifting to Thika with Bidco.