NAIROBI, Kenya, March 20- Former Harambee Stars number one keeper and captain, Francis Onyiso, is the new 2010 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions, Ulinzi Stars head coach after Salim Ali tendered his resignation from the post Thursday.
Confirming the change of guard at the Kenya Defence Force side to Capital Sport, club CEO Capt Joe Birgen, said the former custodian famously known as ‘Kenya One’ who was the assistant to Salim takes over the main role with team captain Stephen Ocholla his deputy.
“We had full support for the coach but we were surprised when he tendered his resignation letter today (Thursday). There was pressure from our fans who were concerned since we are yet to win our first match this season, something that I think he couldn’t handle any more.
“We have to keep the club moving and that’s why we have appointed Onyiso who has a lot of experience both in the league and notational team to take charge and will be assisted by our very able captain Ocholla,” the CEO explained.
Civilian Salim, who was appointed in December 2012 taking over from military man, Benjamin Nyangweso after stints at Sofapaka and Mathare United has failed to marshal the troops to reclaim the crown they marched to in emphatic fashion 2010.
Ulinzi have yet to command a win to the barracks this season after drawing all five of their KPL games, earning the tag ‘draw specialists’.
Salim’s abrupt throwing of the towel comes barely a day after Ulinzi chairman Lt Col JS Mwinyikai, gave the beleaguered tactician the dreaded vote of confidence pointing out that the team has been playing well only lacking in scoring power.
The former Stars assistant coach becomes the third head coach to part ways with his club this season after Francis Baraza was sacked by Western Stima and German Oliver Page relieved his duties by new comers Nakuru Top Fry where the latter has taken over.
Onyiso will be on the firing line this weekend when he faces 2011 and 2012 titleholders Tusker FC on Saturday in an early kick-off at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium in a televised clash.
Ulinzi finished eighth in Salim’s first season in charge with claims he found it difficult to impose his ideas on the military outfit. The soldiers flickered at the start of the second half of the campaign before injuries and suspensions robbed him of key players.