After just seven weeks into his job and six matches in charge, Stewart Hall has left Kenyan Premier League side Sofapaka.
The English coach, who was unveiled on September 10, has returned to his former club Azam of Tanzania, which is said to have offered him an irresistible offer.
While confirming the development, Sofapaka President Elly Kalekwa, said he could not hold onto the coach when a better opportunity had presented itself.
“He had a one year contract with us, but I cannot hold onto him. I applaud him for the good work he has done while with us. Since he took over, he has contributed to positive aspects of the team”, Kalekwa said.
The Tanzanian club, bankrolled by tycoon Said Salim Bakresa since its establishment in 2007, has quickly emerged as legitimate challengers to the Simba-Yanga duopoly of the Tanzanian league.
Hall’s short stint was largely uneventful although he raised eyebrows when he kicked out several highly rated players within weeks of his arrival.
Among the big names that he sent packing is former Gor Mahia midfielder Collins ‘Gatusso’ Okoth, Congolese import Demonde Selenga, Ugandan and veteran Hashim Mukhwana.
In the six matches he presided over, he won only once, 2-0 against Ranger.
He drew two and lost three other matches. But he is credited with guiding Batoto ba Mungu to the semis of the FKF Presidents Cup where they have been drawn against league champions Tusker.
Ouma takes over on acting capacity
Following Hall’s departure, deputy coach David Ouma will once again take over on a care-taker capacity and will manage the team in the last two matches of the season.
Hall took over from former Mathare United coach Salim Ali who was fired in early September over poor results. Since gaining promotion to the Kenyan Premier League, Sofapaka has had a high turnover of coaches with Hall being coach number six.
His predecessors include Ali, former Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi, Ezekiel Akwana, Ugandan Sam Ssimbwa and Robert Matano.
Matano, who is currently with Tusker, guide the club to the championship during its maiden season in the top flight league but fell out with Kalekwa at the start of the 2010 season.
Meanwhile, Sofapaka captain James Situma has expressed disappointment over Hall’s departure. The versatile defender said it is unfortunate the coach is leaving the club when he had began building a formidable side.
“I am very disappointed that the coach is leaving. We are not moving forward. There is a character he (Hall) brought in the team. He is a good coach and knew what he wanted for the club”, Situma said.