Muhoroni recruit former Somalia coach

Jan 31, 2012

Alfred Imonje will be the newest coach in the 2012 Kenyan Premier League season when he moves in to guide Muhoroni, one of the two promoted teams.

Imonje, in the distant past associated with AFC Leopards, makes a surprise return to the top-flight of domestic football, from even a more extraordinary background.

Imonje was recently the head coach of the Somalia national team at the Cecafa Tusker Challenge Cup in Tanzania last December.

His deputy there, incidentally, was Washington Muhanji, the ex-Harambee Stars veteran goalie.

Somalia, not a team with a tight international calendar, may have influenced Imonje’s option to take up club management.

But sources close to the Somalia Football Federation on Monday said the coach was not permanently bound to them. “We shall retain Washington Muhanji as our assistant and goalkeeper coach,” said the source, adding: “For the head coach we shall make a choice well ahead of our next international fixture.”

The other new team in the Premiership, Oserian comes into action under Sammy Otinga, the man who took them to promotion via capturing the championship in the Nationwide League. Karuturi Sports (Michael Namm), Mathare United (Gabriel “Kingi” Njoroge), Rangers (Ezekiel Akwana), Sofapaka (Salim Ali) and Sony Sugar (Zedekiah Otieno) will be under new coaches. Anaba Aono of Gor Mahia, James Omondi of KCB, Gideon Ochieng’ of Nairobi City Stars and John Kamau of Thika United will be carrying on with jobs they took over almost at the close of last season when their predecessors were pushed aside for poor performance.

The Cameroonian, Aono, came the Gor Mahia helm after Zedekiah Otieno was unable to maintain Gor’s tempo towards the Premiership title their supporters so much craved for. Leonard Salleh also made way at KCB after a second-half-of-season slump for the bankers, resulting in the take-over by Omondi, the then assistant.

At City Stars, real relegation threats forced the ouster of Ken Odhiambo and for Gideon Ochieng’, the ex-Congo United man, to come in and guide City Stars to safety.

At Thika United, Juma Abdallah was pushed away for the club’s youth coach John Kamau to be thrust into the senior team towards close of season.

But easily one of the most high profile moves was that of Mathare United’s Salim Ali, who at the close of the season took over the job at 2009 champions Sofapaka. Ali’s place at United has been filled in-house, Gabriel “Kingi” Njoroge, a long-term youth coach and head of Nationwide team, Mathare Youth FC, taking charge of the professional team.