NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 5- Tusker FC stand-in coach Francis Baraza has been named as the Kenyan Premier League Fidelity Insurance coach of the month for October, having led the side to three consecutive victories that month.
Baraza was tasked with heading the team after Ugandan George Nsimbe, now sacked, was suspended after friction with players following comments he made to the media concerning their age.
The former Western Stima, Muhoroni Youth and Chemelil Sugar boss was voted unanimously by the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) football committee having led the team to victories over Muhoroni Youth (4-0), Nakumatt (1-0) and Nzoia Sugar (2-1).
“I am very pleased with this award and I can say I dedicate it to the players who put in the hard work. It hasn’t been a good season for us but we are glad we could get something towards the end,” Baraza said after being feted on Tuesday morning at the club’s training ground.
Baraza has now seemingly auditioned himself to be considered for the top coaching job on permanent basis as the brewers continue their search for a coach to replace fired Nsimbe.
“I have done it with other teams and I believe in myself. Coaching this big team? Why not? I can do it,” the tactician posed.
Tusker Chief Executive Officer Charles Obiny has told Capital Sport that Baraza is one of the candidates for the job, though they have received applications from far and wide.
“Tusker is a big team with a lot of pressure and we need an equally big coach. We have received so many applications and are looking at them. Baraza is also one of the coaches we are considering. We should be able to come out with a conclusive response by mid month,” Obiny said.
The club performed dismally in the just concluded season, finishing sixth in the Premier League and exiting the GOtv Shield in the Quarter finals.
Capital Sport has learnt that the results did not go down well with the bosses at Ruaraka who have demanded that the club bounces back in the new season.
“There will be major changes at the club. The team might be completely new next season. The sponsors were completely not happy with the performance because they have given the cub everything. Finishing sixth is unacceptable,” a source at the club confided.
Several players have already been released from the club, among them 2014 player of the year Anthony Ndolo, Danson Kago, Clifford Alwanga and defender Martin Kiiza. Obiny has admitted that more will be on their way out.
Apart from talks for a new coach, the club is also engaging players whose contracts are ending on the possibility of signing new deals. Among them is skipper James Situma, his deputy Humphrey Mieno, midfielder Cersidy Okeyo and forward Allan Wanga.
“We have started talks with them and we will see whether they are fruitful. We have already started the recruitment process though we will have to wait till the new coach comes so that he can build his team,” Obiny added.
In a precious interview, chairman Dan Aduda said they would be looking to cut down the wage bill by reducing the number of players to work with a minimum of 23. The same sentiments have been echoed by Obiny.