NAIROBI, Kenya, May 19 – “I cannot promise positive results right now, it will take more than a month for us to start performing,” were the words newly appointed Leopards coach, Hendrik Pieter De Jongh, used to introduce himself to his new AFC Leopards faithful.
The Dutch who replaces James Nandwa who was sacked last month after a string of poor performance signed a renewable one year contact and he will use the Cecafa Nile Basin tournament which kicks-off on Thursday in Sudan to observe his players.
His first act as the boss was to omit star forwards, Allan Wanga, Jacob Keli and goalkeeper, Wycliffe Kasaya from his travelling party to the inaugural continental showdown to give the trio a chance to turn out for the national team return leg 2015 Afcon preliminary qualifier against Comoros.
“It’s a great moment for me to be at this famous club. It’s not easy to take Leopards where it was because it’s a slow process; I’m here to work for a long-term plan with the club.
“The second leg is the most important for us because it will determine how we will finish; our players need to be tactically good which needs a lot of work and we want to make our fans happy,” the former Netherlands national team youth coach declared.
However, he warned his charges that he will not tolerate any form of indiscipline, adding that he is under no pressure at Ingwe since he has experience on how to handle big sides.
Leopards chairman Allan Kasavuli urged the technical bench and fans to hand the coach all the support and give him time to exercise his duties.
“We have now come to the end of our long term search of the coach. We zeroed to him because he is a professional and on issues of tactical. We expect fans not to put pressure on him since he has a long term solution with the club.
“He will embark on building the team to start performing as we seek to find solutions to our problems that we have at our club,” Kasavuli said.
Ingwe who are 12th on the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) log with 14 points will depart for Sudan on Tuesday to take part in the inaugural Cup competition where they are drawn in Pool B alongside host club Merreikh Al-Fasher, Mbeya City from Tanzania and Somali’s Elman.
De Jongh’s expertise will come to test in his next KPL match after the Nile Basin tournament when Ingwe take on defending champions and leaders Gor Mahia in the usually explosive Mashemeji Derby.