NAIROBI, March 16 – Sony Sugar chairman Paul Orato has backed under pressure coach Leonard Odipo to lift the team off the relegation zone even as he revealed the sugar belt club has made changes in the technical bench.
Orato is confident Odipo will deliver results at the sugar belt side despite a troubled start to the season.
The former Tusker FC assistant coach who is taking over his first ever coaching job has been under immense pressure with the sugar millers being rooted bottom of the SportPesa Premier League table, winless in the first five matches of the season.
The chairman has disclosed to Capital Sport the team has made changes to the technical bench with team manager Stock Ouma and goalkeeper trainer Gaddy Kawuonda being relieved of their duties.
Assistant coach Salim Babu tendered his resignation at the club just after seeing the team through their last match against Muhoroni Youth at home.
Following that development, Emmanuel Geno has been appointed the team manager.
“The team manager has been there for a very long time and we thought it was about time we brought a fresh face. Gaddy (goalkeeper trainer) had been hired on a temporary basis after our former trainer Charles Omondi left but we decided to give the coach time to choose his own technical staff,” Orato said.
After their opening day draw away to Ulinzi Stars, Sony have had back to back losses against AFC Leopards, Ushuru, Bandari and lastly Muhoroni Youth, but Orato has blamed this on a poor pre-season and the late drafting of a new head coach.
“We did not train very well in pre-season because of various issues. The coach was also not involved in signing of players and this has come back to hurt us. The players are very unfit and we expected the start to be this tough.
“However, with the changes we have made, I’m sure we can be able to get back because we are not in our position,” Orato added.
The sugar millers, champions of the Kenyan Premier League in 2006 have quickly fallen from grace to grass and were last season fighting relegation.
The disastrous start to 2016 evokes poor memories of a side that was once a force to reckon with, regularly finishing in the top half of the table.
Speaking separately, Odipo remains optimistic he can be able to stabilize the team, pointing out he will be busy in the June transfer window to bolster the squad.
“There are deep issues still underlying but this is a step in the right direction. I will need to bring a very strong assistant, one with a thick skin and can handle all these issues. I haven’t picked on one but I’m in the process,” Odipo opined.
After three matches, Odipo had sensationally announced he would be walking out on Sony, citing sabotage and a hostile working environment.
The side faces Posta Rangers March 30 when the league resumes from a two-week international break.