Football Football

AFC Leopards appoint Serbian head coach

AFC Leopards new coach Nikola Kavazovic. PHOTO/Courtesy

NAIROBI, KENYA, Oct 27 – Kenyan Premier League side AFC Leopards has appointed immediate former Township Rollers head coach Nikola Kavazovic as their new boss on a two year deal, replacing Argentine Rodolfo Zapata who is rumored to be headed the opposite way.

The 43-year old Serb is expected in the country on November 5 and according to AFC Leopards management, he is expected to come in with his own assistant.

“There was a list of almost 20 applicants and Kavazovic stood out for us because of the success he enjoyed with Rollers and also during his time with Bangladesh, he did very well. He has signed a two year contract and we look forward to having success with him,” AFC Secretary general Oscar Igaida said.

He added; “He will come in with his own assistant and we will definitely have some local people assist him. On the composition of the current bench, we will make further decisions once the coach comes and tells us his roadmap.”

-Tajikistan national team

Kavazović is the former Tajikistan national football team head coach (2012 – 2013), and also former head coach of Tajikistan champions Istiqlol Dushanbe.

As head coach of Dushanbe, Kavazović who has UEFA A and UEFA Pro coaching licenses won the AFC Presidents Cup in 2012 2012.

In July 2012, he was the youngest national team head coach in the world, at age of 36.

The tactician enjoyed success with Township Rollers where he worked from July 2017 before throwing in the towel earlier this month. In this duration, Rollers won the Botswana Premier League title for the 15th time and also clinched the Mascom Top 8 Cup.

Kavazović led rollers to the group stage of the Champions League playing some beautiful football but unfortunately could not make it into the knockout stages.

Ex-AFC Leopards head coach Rodolfo Zapata watches from the touchline during a past Kenyan Premier League match. Photo/Timothy Olobulu

The tactician will hope not to suffer the fate of his predecessors who have struggled to finish even a year at the helm of the club. This year alone, the team has had three coaches.

They started off with Robert Matano who guided them to last year’s FKF Shield before he was ousted and Tanzanian Dennis Kitambi took charge.

Kitambi left in May and in came the Argentine Zapata who could not even finish the season, leaving with two matches to go and assistant Tom Juma taking over on interim basis.

Meanwhile, AFC have confirmed that captain Duncan Otieno has left the club for Zambian top tier side Nkana FC for a fee of Sh1.5mn. Otieno who had a year running in his contract has been training with the side for the last two weeks and will join fellow Kenyan international Musa Mohammed at the club.

At the same time, the club has been boosted with midfielder Whyvonne Isuza signing a three-year extension to his contract while defender Robinson Kamura penned a new two-year deal.