MOMBASA, Kenya, Nov 26 – Bandari FC’s Bernard Mwalala has been belatedly named as the Fidelity Insurance/SJAK Coach of the Month for August after guiding the coastal Kenyan Premier League side unbeaten that month.
Mwalala was voted unanimously by the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) Football Commission after picking maximum points, winning all the four games to bag the 12 points available.
For his effort, he was rewarded with KSh75,000 and a personalized trophy courtesy of title sponsors Fidelity Insurance.
“I dedicate this award to my players who made it possible; they had belief in themselves and put to action what we practice in training. We played difficult matches that month but thanks to hard work from my players we won all which helped us finish second in the league,” Mwalala said after receiving the award from Fidelity Insurance Mombasa Branch manager Nhaaman Shariff at their Mbaraki Sports Club training base.
To be voted the best, Mwalala, who joined the dockers in mid-season from Nzoia United, started the month with a 1-3 victory away to Posta Rangers, the broke giants Gor Mahia’s unbeaten run by handing the champions a 2-1 beating, went on to beat Tusker FC 0-1 away before winding the month with a 1-0 win over his former employers Nzoia at the Mbaraki Stadium in Mombasa.
“Breaking Gor Mahia’s unbeaten run was a turning point to us, when they came here they were on top, winning CAF matches and I told my boys not to concentrate on breaking the unbeaten but to pick maximum points and reduce the gap within them,” Mwalala added.
With the new season just weeks away, Mwalala says he is lucky not to lose his regular players during the transfer window as he targets getting wins in the opening five matches.
“Our strategy this season is to win the opening five matches then put target thereafter, we were lucky not to lose any player from first team so it will be easy for me to continue from where I left.”
Mwalala has already roped in keeper Mustafa Oduor, defender Brian Otieno all from his former side Nzoia as well as Moses Mudavadi from St Anthony High School.