NAIROBI, April 14 – After a troubled start to his first coaching job, Leonard Odipo has resigned as the Sony Sugar FC head coach.
The former Tusker FC assistant tendered his resignation on Wednesday and club chairman Paul Orato has confirmed that former coach Salim Babu returns to the team on an interim basis.
“Odipo tendered his resignation on Wednesday and we have accepted it. We cannot force him to continue if he feels he cannot. Salim will return on acting capacity because he still doesn’t have papers and we will need to look for someone with the right qualification to sit on the bench,” Orato told Capital Sport.
Odipo said he made the decision to throw in the towel after last weekend’s 1-0 loss to Mathare United.
“It was a difficult place to work in and there were so much politics around the team. I saw it fit to resign and I will take a sabbatical for the next two months. If I am to come back to football, then it will be in January,” Odipo said.
Speaking after the weekend loss against Mathare, Odipo said he was looking at helping the team recover after starting the season on the wrong footing due to internal politics.
Odipo took over at Sony in January after walking out of Tusker FC where he was the assistant coach.
He however found it tough at the sugar belt side, failing to win in all his eight games in charge.
Odipo had previously resigned from the post citing interference and sabotage but a meeting with the club’s top brass led him to rescind the decision.
The coach affirmed that having arrived at the club late in January when the transfer window was almost closing, contributed into the team not performing as well as he would have wanted as he could not recruit players he was comfortable working with.
Odipo further stated in his resignation letter that fans preferred Babu to continue after helping the team survive relegation last season.
“My recruitment has never been accepted by the Sony Sugar FC faithful as it pitted two coaches with the same ambitions. Replacing these members of the technical bench further fuelled the already volatile situation as there was a feeling of betrayal hence the bad run,” Odipo asserted.
“The fans seem to be in control of Sony Sugar FC contrary to my belief that it is an institution club. This has been evident by the fact that very well-known fans will continue hurling insults to specific players and myself without any action taken on them,” the coach stated in his resignation.
His former boss at Tusker FC Francis Kimanzi speaking to Capital Sport said he supported Odipo in his quest to lift Sony Sugar.
“That is the nature of our job sometimes you have to learn the hard way. It is a difficult situation for him but I am optimistic he can come out of it a better person and a better coach,” Kimanzi now with Mathare United said.