NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 6 – After the departure of Francis Baraza to Tusker FC, Chemelil Sugar has appointed immediate former Bidco United tactician Abdallah Juma as the club’s new head coach on a one-year performance-based contract.
Juma is expected to join the team in training on Monday January 9 and will have a tall order to fill the void left by Baraza who steered the club to fifth in 2016, their highest ever Premier League finish.
“We had a long list of coaches we wanted but in our interviews, Juma stood out because of what he has achieved. He did well in Thika, KCB and Bidco United and he fitted what we were looking for. We trust in his abilities and we know he is going to perform,” Chemelil Sugar chairman Robert Nyakundi told Capital Sport.
“He knows the expectations he bears because of what Baraza did for the club and the pressure is on him. We hope that the good knowledge he has will be imparted to the players and they will in turn translate it on the pitch,” Chemelil boss added.
Speaking to Capital Sport, Juma said he is excited at the prospect of a new challenge and more so a return to top flight football since his adventure with AFC Leopards.
“I am pleased to be back to the Premier League. I was looking for a big challenge and Chemelil for me is what I want. I know there is so much to do but I trust in my abilities and with the experience I have picked, it won’t be hard,” he said.
The tactician’s targets is to help Chemelil do better than they did last season, and he knows he will be under pressure to ensure they perform better than their fifth place finish.
“The only way to go is higher and that is my target. I have to work hard personally and as a team, we also need to work hard,” he offered.
Apart from working for Thika, KCB and Bidco, Juma also had a stint at AFC Leopards as an assistant coach.
The first item on his agenda is getting the right players to spur the team to the same performance they had last season.
Juma will also be tasked with replacing key players who are set to leave the club. Defender Samuel Olwande and goalkeeper Samuel Odhiambo are said to have joined Tusker and Western Stima respectively, though Nyakundi says he is unaware.
“The players still have contracts with us and I am only hearing they have left. As far as we are concerned the players are still in our squad and we expect them back when we resume training on Monday,” Nyakundi said.