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Nandwa vows to pluck Thika United off drop zone

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Former Harambee Stars head coach James Nandwa was appointed Thika United head coach on Thursday, March 17.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu.
Former Harambee Stars head coach James Nandwa was appointed Thika United head coach on Thursday, March 17.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu.

NAIROBI, March 17 – Former Tusker FC and AFC Leopards coach James Nandwa has been appointed as the new Thika United head coach.

Nandwa, who previously worked with second tier side Shabana FC, will take over from Moses Irungu, whom the club is yet to decide on his fate.

Club chairman Ellio Lolli said they had settled on Nandwa because of his experience and he remains optimistic the experienced tactician will pull them off the rugs of relegation.

“We are still discussing as an executive and in the next two or three days, we will make a decision on whether or not we will retain the other members of the technical bench. But we had to look for someone with experience to help the team,” Lollio declared.

Nandwa, whose last engagement was with second tier side Shabana FC, will come in to find a scattered Thika side that has only picked two points from the opening five games of the season.

The tactician believes he is equal to the task and it will be just a matter of time before he gets the side ticking again.

“It is a huge challenge because if you look at the table, they are not in a good position. I have watched a few of their matches this season and they are not a bad team. We only need to work on a few areas, strengthen and see how things go in the coming matches,” Nandwa said.

He added; “I have come at a very good time when there is a two week break in the league. This will give me a very good opportunity to look at the team further, try and make right a few things then look at how well we have done in probably one or two friendly matches. I’m confident that Thika will be up again.”

Since reaching the KPL Top 8 final in 2013, Thika has been a pale shadow of its former self. The departure of John Kamau in 2015 to join Posta Rangers perhaps spelt their fall of their fast rising star.

Tim Bryett took over but he could not manage to revive Thika back to the top to throw in the towel in August.

Irungu, who worked as an assistant from the reign of Kamau through to Bryett was trusted with the top job on interim basis main at the start of this new season.

Nandwa has his work cut out but with a rich CV that has seen him achieve some degree at club level and national team where he reached the 2012 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup final in Uganda.

“It is a pleasure returning to the Kenyan Premier League because it is an interesting and challenging place to work,” the coach, who has also coached Tanzania’s Coastal Union offered.

His first match in charge will be a home tie against Posta Rangers and the tactician will be looking to start on a positive note with a return to winning ways.

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