NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 11- The future of AFC Leopards’ Ugandan winger Allan Katterega maybe as well sealed with head coach Robert Matano making it clear that the players’ name ‘is no longer on his mind’ after a feud between the two last weekend in Nakuru.
Katterega engaged the coach in an exchange of words after being substituted in Ingwe’s 1-0 loss against Bandari at the Afraha Stadium, lamenting of his withdrawal barely 40 minutes after being introduced.
“I can’t work with that kind of a player because he lacks respect. Not only am I a coach to him but I am like his father as well. He has to respect me but creating a scene out of nothing in public, that’s embarrassing,” Matano told Capital Sport.
The tough talking tactician, nicknamed ‘The Lion’ added; “He is not even on my mind. I already finished up that case in Nakuru and I don’t want even to talk about it. I have other players who are willing to work and it is those that I can talk about.”
The coach has gone on to warn players who might follow in the Ugandan’s path that he will not be shy of getting rid of them, noting he will not condone any degree of indiscipline.
“No player owns this team so no one is above anyone. It is a principle not only for my team but everywhere. If you cannot observe respect then you can’t work. It’s that simple,” the tactician insisted.
AFC Leopards are battling to scale up the standings after quite a disappointing season and Matano’s arrival early June was meant to stabilize the team and take them back to the top.
The club has lost three of its last five matches and are sitting13th in the Kenyan Premier League standings, worrying trends for a side that initially had a target of winning the Kenyan Premier League title, later downgraded to a top five aim.
Matano though is confident his side will bounce back and will be among the top five teams at the end of the season.
“We have to keep on working, because the journey is long. There are many matches left and we have to improve. It is mostly about the mentality because when you lose matches it tends to affect you. I am confident that we will be back on top,” the coach added.
AFC Leopards’ next match will be away to Mathare United August 17 and Matano hopes his side will be able to bounce back. However, he is worried that they have not trained for a whole week due to the uncertainty of the elections.
“If the game is confirmed we will have to play, we don’t have choice. That is the situation with almost all teams; they are not training. I am just hoping things can get back to normal then we start preparations. But for now, we just wait,” Matano offered.
It is not only AFC whose training has been disrupted. Defending champions Tusker FC, Gor Mahia, Posta Rangers, Western Stima and Nakumatt are some of the teams whose training routines have been halted.
“Well, we have been told to remain indoors and no training so there’s really nothing much we can do. It is the situation all over. I am hoping for peace though,” Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr said.
His Posta Rangers counterpart Sammy Omollo said; “We really can’t put the players at risk by asking them to come for training and hence we decided to break. Hopefully by tomorrow (Saturday) we see how things are then we go back to normal.”
Tusker’s George ‘Best’ Nsimbe said his team was back in training, but was hit hard with low numbers with most players yet to report back.
Meanwhile, KPL Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda says he will consult with the governing council on whether the midweek matches will go on as planned. Already, KPL postponed this weekend’s games due to the uncertainty.