By Otieno Otieno
AFC Leopards' will play Sunday's Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Top-8 final match against Tusker minus head coach Pieter de Jongh.
The coach was expected to fly out on Saturday night to be with his father, who underwent operation one week ago. He is expected back on June 25. The Dutchman exclusively told Goal on Saturday that this trip was scheduled a long time ago.
"My father was operated on one week ago and I need to go and see him. We had planned this a long time ago. My absence should not affect the team because I have given the assistant coach our program. I will be in contact with the team all through and remain confident they will do well even in my absence."
Assistant coach Abdallah Juma, who will handle team in De Jong’s absence, is confident they will get past Tusker on Sunday. “His father is sick and we have been informed that he will travel for home on Saturday. We are going to miss his presence but will fight to keep his legacy. Hopefully we win Top 8 trophy for him.”
De Jong has been with Leopards for the last one month after he was appointed to replace James Nandwa. His presence has been a big motivation to the team as they finished runners-up in Cecafa Nile Basin tournament and won two matches on local scene.
De Jong will also miss AFC Leopards’ league match against Western Stima on June 22 at Nyayo Stadium but will be available for fixture against Bandari at same venue on June 25.