Bandari pull off coup by luring Tusker coach Nkata
Mombasa-based Kenyan Premier League (KPL) side Bandari FC have pulled off a major coup by luring Ugandan Paul Nkata from title-winning Tusker FC as their new head coach.
The sensational news broke on Thursday evening meaning Nkata will not be in charge of the Brewers in next season’s CAF Champions League, coming 48 hours after the Ugandan journeyman was named the KPL Coach of the Year at the gala awards in Nairobi.
According to sources close to Nkata, the tactacian has signed an unspecified deal with the Dockers in a move that catches Tusker cold with the preliminary round of the Champions League set to kick-off in just over a month.
Nkata left another KPL side Muhoroni to join Tusker before leading them to their first title in four years and the 10th in their glamourous history in addition to clinching the double by winning the GOtv Shield.
At the KPL Awards, Nkata threw his future in the air when he referred himself as ‘Johnnie Walker’ in an apparent reference to his journeyman status having arrived in Kenya to take charge of Nairobi City Stars before he moved on to Muhoroni in the 2015 season.
By the time of publishing this account, officials from both clubs were unavailable for comment but a source at the Football Kenya Federation confirmed papers over the deal had been presented in their offices late Thursday.
Under his watch, Tusker won the crown with 61 points, seven clear of deposed title-holders Gor Mahia who had held on to the KPL title for three years running since succeeding the champions in 2013.
After accepting the KPL award, Nkata gave no indication of making the stunning switch from Ruaraka to the coast.
“I’m happy for the award and after hard work recognition serves as a big motivation. We have a big challenge ahead and I’m already looking forward to the Champions League. We need to do a lot if we have to make an impact in the competition.
“This is at a different level which needs new signings with experience among other things. I have discussed with the management and I’m aiming to add four new faces to the team,” the Ugandan told Citizen Digital on Tuesday.
He then offered his gratitude to the Brewers with whom he won a domestic title for the first time in a coaching career that started back at home at Uganda Revenue Authority and Sports Club Villa where he was a former player.
“I have not been accorded this kind of respect back home but it’s not a big deal. The interesting thing is that we can show away from home what we can offer,” the 56 year-old who has seemingly left the KPL champions in a lurch declared.
Bandari who ended the season under Ken Odhiambo finished 11th on 37 points in a campaign that saw them ranked as early season title contenders after winning the 2014 GOtv Shield and recruiting heavily in the off season.
Former Harambee Stars coach, Twahir Muhiddin who led them to the domestic cup in 2015 was shown the door after the opening leg slump before former coach Rishadi Shedu and eventually Odhiambo at the start of the second leg took charge.
-Report by Jacob Icia and Mutwiri Mutuota