NAIROBI, April 12- AFC Leopards head coach Ivan Minnaert has been named the Fidelity Insurance /Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) coach of the month for March.
The Belgian tactician becomes the second recipient of the award after Mathare United’s Francis Kimanzi bagged the maiden February gong.
“I am happy to receive this award but I must say it has been because of the good work of the entire technical bench and players as well. I am sure SJAK will come back here many more times because we are going to do well this season,” Minnaert stated after receiving the award at the club’s training base in Nairobi.
“It hasn’t been easy because we faced tough matches but we kept on working without giving up. This season the ultimate goal is to win the Kenyan Premier League title and I’m sure we have the ability,” he added.
Minnaert, who joined Leopards mid February, had a splendid record in the month of March, leading Ingwe to the top of the SportPesa Premier League standings after picking ten out of a possible 12 points.
Minnaert guided Leopards to victory over GOtv Shield champions Bandari FC, eternal rivals Gor Mahia and Kakamega Homeboyz while dropping points against a side that has always been a hard nut to crack for them, Chemelil Sugar.
The coach received a unanimous vote from the SJAK football committee and beat off competition from Ulinzi Stars’ Robert Matano and Tusker FC’s Paul Nkata.
Matano led Ulinzi to picking six out of a possible 12 points from three draws and one win while Nkata led Tusker to a seven out of nine points haul from two wins and a draw.
With the award, Minnaert received Sh50, 000 and a trophy engraved with his name.
Leopards sit third on the standings on 17 points, same as leaders Tusker FC and second placed Mathare United as the three sides are separated by goal difference.
Minnaert is confident that he can guide the side to the Premier League crown this season after an 18-year wait.