For the last couple of years, the turnover of coaches at AFC Leopards has been startling with Argentine Rodolfo Zapata the latest to be sacked over a string of poor results.
Zapata, who had replaced Tanzania’s Dennis Kitambi last April, was shown the door last weekend after Ingwe lost 2-1 to Ulinzi Stars in a SportPesa Premier League (SPL) match and in the process became the 21st tactician to be booted out of the den since 2010.
The list of coaches Leopards will have recruited since then could reach 22 following allegations that Nakumatt FC Head Coach Melis Medo is one of those being head-hunted for the job.
However, Medo who has had a fine run with Nakumatt has vehemently denied such claims and put the record straight that he has neither been approached by Ingwe officials nor is he planning to quit the super market side any time soon.
“The reports that I’m being courted by Leopards are false and I must make it clear that I will still be at Nakumatt next year. Leopards is a great club but why should I join them when I’m still attached to Nakumatt? ,” posed Medo.
Leopards secretary Oscar Igaida said their parting of ways with Zapata was by mutual consent although it’s perceptible that there has been a lot of demands that goes with handling the team, hence the infamy of sacking coaches before the expiry of their contracts.
Granted, the den is increasingly becoming uninhabitable for coaches even as it appears that the purge may not end any time soon particularly due to pressure mounted by fans whenever the team is not perfoming well.
That the volume of the coaches, especially expatriate, who have left Leopards is mind-boggling is an open secret which is choreographed by the sacking of Dutchman Hendrick Pieter de Jong in 2014, making him the 14th coach to be relieved off his duties in five years.
De Jongh failed to win any trophy for Leopards and was sacked during a Special General Meeting.
Besides De Jongh, other coaches who have come and gone are Tom Olaba, Jan Koops, Ezekiel Akwana, Dorian Marin, James Nandwa, Nick Yakhama and Robert Matano who is Zapata’s latest predecessor.