Ten retired soccer stars who went back to manage former employer

Monday, November 30th, 2020 12:03 |
Robert Matano - AFC Leopards.

The Confederation of African Football  dealt K’Ogalo a devastating blow when it banned current trainer Oliveira Goncalves from sitting in the team’s technical bench during Saturday’s CAF Champions League match against APR for lack of requisite documents. Following the development, Gor appointed the club’s legend Sammy “Pamzo’ Omollo of Posta Ranges on a temporary basis. Omollo is one of the many tacticians to return to offer services to their former clubs, writes Charles Thuku.

1. Sammy Omollo - Gor Mahia

Omollo began playing football in the local league, making his Kenyan Premier League (KPL) debut for Kenya Breweries (Now Tusker). 

In 1992, he joined rivals Gor Mahia for two seasons before returning to Tusker who he helped reach the final of the Africa Cup Winners Cup in 1994.

Omollo signed a professional contract with Indian side East Bengal in 1996. He has had previous coaching stints at Tusker and KCB.

After two seasons in India, he moved to Mohun Bagan AC for another five seasons before hanging his boots.

2. Nicholas Muyoti - AFC Leopards

In 2012 while still serving as captain of AFC Leopards, Muyoti was named the club’s assistant coach.

Former Leopards Chairman Alex Ole Magelo announced the development while flagging off the team for their pre-season hide-out in Mumias.

Magelo said that Muyoti’s appointment was part of the club’s fulfillment of a player development programme geared at helping senior players get a stab at coaching and football development at the sunset of their careers.

Muyoti would later in February 2019 be appointed the coach of Kakamega Homeboyz and  steered them to a second place finish in the 2020 KPL.

3. Zedekiah Otieno - Gor Mahia

He was a swashbuckling defender for Gor Mahia and Harambee Stars in the ‘90s.

Afterr quitting football he served in various managerial positions in Stars and at Gor.

He was the assistant to Hassan Oktay but resigned just two years into his stay at the club. While working with Oktay, he guided the team to a third consecutive KPL title.

Zico first coached Gor in February 2017 under Brazilian Josse Ze Maria Ferreira who was in charge of the team then. He is now coaching KCB.

4. Francis Kimanzi - Mathare United

He played for Mathare United as an offensive midfielder between 1994 and 2002 before venturing into management. Kimanzi’s first major breakthrough with the Slum Boys was leading the team to the 2008 KPL title.

He would leave for Tusker who he coached for three seasons  before returning to Mathare in 2015. Kimanzi has publicly spoken against foreign coaches in Africa which has rubbed some administrators the wrong way.

The former Harambee Stars coach managed Mathare United in 2002-2010 and 2015-2019.

5. John Baraza - Sofapaka

Baraza joined Sofapaka as a player in 2009 and helped the team win the KPL title in their first year of asking. After retirement, he was deployed as stand-in coach thrice.

He was then hired as a full time manager with Sofapaka president Elly Kalekwa saying he had come of age in coaching, thanks to the years he had served as an assistant coach and interim manager.

Baraza also had a relatively successful career in other clubs he previously played for including Oserian, Chemelil Sugar and Yanga of Tanzania, among others.

6. Robert Matano - AFC Leopards

He is one of the few people who have served AFC Leopards both as a player and coach.

Matano is a man who fears no challenge and has taken up some of the most intimidating jobs including managing Ingwe that has passionate fans.

He coached AFC Leopards in 1986 and would return to the team in 2010, first as technical director and later as coach without much success.

Surprisingly, Matano earned a third stint at Leopards in mid 2017 and helped stabilise the team that even went ahead to win the GOtv Shield Cup.

Matano is credited with playing a pivotal role in the success of ex internationals like Tom Juma, Musa Otieno and Dennis Oliech.

7. Benjamin Nyangweso - Ulinzi Stars

The current Ulinzi Stars head coach was an industrious striker for Ulinzi (formerly known as Waterworks) as well as national team Harambee Stars in the 1980s and 90s.

Benja has been alternating Ulinzi’s coaching position with Dunstan Nyaudo who has since been elevated to technical director. To prove that East or West home is the best, Nyaudo was also a key player for Ulinzi in his heyday.

8. Bernard Mwalala - Nzoia Sugar

An adventurous striker during his days as a player of former giant killers Nzoia Sugar where he was spotted by national team scouts.

Hired as Nzoia coach in 2014 but resigned four years later over whatv he described as personal reasons.

His resignation brought to and end a hugely successful spell of close to four years that saw him assist the team to return to top flight action.

Mwalala’s latest team to coach is Bandari who asked him to step aside over poor results and was replaced by Ken Odhiambo.

9. Tom Juma -  AFC Leopards

He was born in Kaloleni, Nairobi, and is one of the few footballers to have played for both the country’s giants Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.

Among Gazza’s attributes at Ingwe was that he had an eye for goal and could play in more than two positions.

After retiring from football, Juma coached Brookebond of Kericho, Nzoia United, Maragoli United (Now Imara United), Railways FC and is now the Technical Director at AFC Leopards.

10. John Kamau - Thika United

A former goalkeeper at Thika United, he began his coaching career at the same team in 2010 when he was appointed goalkeeping trainer.

An accomplished glove-men coach, Kamau then moved to Posta Rangers on general duties and was preferred among five tacticians short-listed for the job.

The ex-national under-23 handler is now the deputy coach of KPL side Wazito and is already looking forward to a fruitful 2020/2021 season with the Moneybags.

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