James Magayi @PeopleSports11
Caretaker Tusker FC coach Francis Baraza has received a boost in his quest to land the job permanently after emerging October Fidelity Insurance Coach of the Month.
The former Chemelil Sugar tactician succeeded out-of-favour George “Best” Nsimbe in an interim capacity and laid down a marker with three victories and a draw during the month to claim the coaching honours.
He launched his interim spell with a scoreless draw at home to high-flying debutants Kariobangi Sharks before going on a three-match winning run over Muhoroni Youth, Nakumatt and Posta Rangers.
With 10 points in the bag, Baraza easily scooped the award as his contemporaries failed to muster as many points. For his sound tactics in October, Baraza was awarded Sh75,000 in addition to a personalised trophy.
The former Kenyan international defender confounded many when he quit his head coach position at Chemelil to become Tusker’s assistant coach at the end of 2016 season.
His spell, however, saw the team surrender the league title to Gor Mahia, a precedent that culminated in Nsimbe’s sacking, paving the way for Baraza in the last eight matches.
“I had a good time at Chemelil and we performed well as a team, finishing in the highest position ever since the club was promoted. So when many people thought and wanted me to stay, I saw a fresh and bigger challenge at Tusker and that is why I decided to join the brewers albeit as an assistant coach,” said Baraza yesterday.
He added: “I had the chance to learn under a more experienced coach and even though things did not turn out so well for the team, we managed to salvage what we could.”
At Chemelil, Baraza had also been crowned August 2016 Coach of the Month and he joins Western Stima’s Henry Omino as the only tacticians to have won the gong more than once since its inception at the beginning of 2016.