Hall sets target
New coach says he will work towards restoring AFC Leopards’ lost image
‘I BELIEVE NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE. I CAN MAKE THE FANS SMILE AGAIN’ —JOHN HALL
AFC Leopards’ new coach John Stewart Hall yesterday said he is under no illusions on what is expected of him after he was officially unveiled on Monday for one of the toughest jobs in Kenyan club football.
Hall said he has been properly briefed about his new duties at the club, and that he intends to work towards restoring the club’s image beginning next season.
“Before I came here, I was doing a bit of research on the team and I have gathered quite a lot. The management and the fans want the club to get back to being giants in the Kenyan Premier League and because I have a good understanding of the club’s history, I will try my best to ensure I succeed in doing that. “I am honoured and privileged to have been selected for this job when so many other coaches had applied but my track record speaks for itself. In my years at Azam, I managed to make the club big enough to destabilise the dominance of Simba and Yanga in Tanzania.
“I therefore believe nothing is impossible. I can make the fans smile again. But we also have to be realistic. Winning the league title may not be possible in the next year but I can assure Leopards that we shall make significant progress in the next year,” he said.
Hall was speaking at the club’s headquarters in Nairobi where he was officially unveiled.
The Englishman signed a two-year contract at the club two weeks ago after resigning from Azam in August. He takes over from Belgian Ivan Minnaert who was sacked earlier this year over poor performance.
Leopards chairman Dan Mule said Hall will have a free hand to select his assistants. “Hall begins work immediately and will work alone until that time that he formulates his own technical bench. Ezekiel Akwana is no longer part of the team.”
Akwana had been appointed standin coach following the sacking of Minnaert. Mule said: “Apart from coaching the senior team, he (Hall) will also be supervising the junior team as part of our ambition to set up a vibrant youth team that will act as an academy for the club.”
Hall resigned as coach of Azam last year under unclear circumstances. The Englishman has previously managed Zanzibar and Saint Vincent and Grenadines.
He has also coached several clubs including Birmingham City’s Academy side (England), Pune FC (India) and Sofapaka (Kenya), where he had a rather short and inauspicious stint.
Kepha Aswani of AFC Leopards celebrates a Kenya Premier League match win.
AFC Leopards’ new coach John Stewart Hall