Nakumatt coach Melis Medo and potential replacements for Rodolfo Zapata at AFC

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Rodolfo Zapata.
Goal takes a look at potential candidates in line to replace the Argentine coach, who parted ways with Ingwe on Friday after five months in charge

  1. Goal Kenya.

    #1 Melis Medo (Nakumatt)

    The American coach is currently the hottest gem and probably one of the most sought-after coaches in the Kenyan Premier League. Medo has revived the fortunes of a once struggling Nakumatt, who, at one point were rooted at the basement of the table. The fact that he can work both as a coach and physical trainer gives him an upper hand over the rest but Ingwe must be prepared to break the bank for his services considering that Gor Mahia and Football Kenya Federation (Harambee Stars) are also salivating for his signature should Dylan Kerr and Sebastien Migne leave their respective posts.

  2. Goal Kenya.

    #2 Dennis Kitambi (Bangladesh)

    Probably one of the most successful coaches and fans’ favourite, Kitambi is the only coach, who left the Den with his head held high. The Tanzanian took over on an interim basis from Robert Matano and steered the team to the mid-table after a poor start to the season under ‘The Lion’. Kitambi led Ingwe to four consecutive wins in the league after the suspension and exit of coach Matano. Currently in Bangladesh, where he re-united with his coaching mentor and friend Stewart Hall, the new skills gained outside the KPL will be of great help to inconsistent Ingwe, who have been blowing hot and old.

  3. Didier Gomes.

    #3 Didier Gomes

    Known mostly for making an impressive impact in all the clubs he has managed in his early years in Africa, the Frenchman is the ideal candidate for Ingwe, who last won the KPL title over 20 years ago. Gomes, who was beaten by Zapata to the AFC Leopards job, might be interested in the new position now that the Argentine has left, barely five months in office. Gomes has won the league titles with Rwandan Rayon Sports (2013), a league double with Coton Sport de Caroua (2014 and 2015) and also the Cameroonian Cup at the Caroua -based club. If AFC Leopards management is serious with the title and only if they can peg their hopes in Gomes' past records, then they better hand him a contract.

  4. Goal Kenya.

    #4 Paul Nkata (Homeboyz)

    Though AFC Leopards have not shown much love for hiring Ugandan tacticians, the much-traveled Nkata, with tentacles in the domestic league, will be an ideal replacement for Zapata. The Ugandan tactician will bring a lot of experience at the Den and his contact in Uganda will be an added advantage for Ingwe, who need to sign some serious talents to strengthen their squad. Nkata, who won a double with Tusker two years ago, is currently engaged with Kakamega Homeboyz but he might consider taking up the job. Nkata has also coached Bandari, but he failed to replicate the same form that saw him steer Tusker to both the league and FKF Shield titles in 2016.

  5. Tusker website.

    #5 George ‘Best’ Nsimbe (Express FC)

    The fact that Ingwe are known to have an insatiable appetite for foreign coaches puts ‘Best’ among the front-runners for the job. Tusker went for the services of Robert Matano, who was fired by Ingwe, as a replacement for Nsimbe after both parties parted ways mid first leg. Matano’s Tusker are currently two places and a point behind Ingwe on the log but the ‘Big Cat’ might just show the Brewers that they also made a mistake by relieving the Ugandan of his duties even before the league picked rhythm. Nsimbe is currently the Technical Director of Ugandan side Express FC though he occasionally takes part in the team’s training sessions.

  6. Goal Kenya.

    #6 Ezekiel Akwana (Nakuru All Stars)

    Akwana knows the corners of the Den so well until his sacking from the same position in 2016. Akwana is among the first coaches, who begun the exit journey out of the Den. Akwana, himself a former AFC Leopards player, broke ranks with the club after Ingwe snubbed him for Jan Koops. Despite being with the team through thick and thin, it was shocking to see the former player shipped out with Nicholas Muyoti rehired as the team’s assistant coach and Koops taking the head coach role. The former Sofapaka and Nakumatt coach is an ‘all weatherman’- conditioned to survive under any situation. He knows the success and fame that comes with leading Sofapaka to a historic victory over Ismailia of Egypt and the harsh economic times that he weathered during his time at Nakumatt.

  7. Goal Kenya.

    #7 Tom Juma (Assistant coach)

    Juma will take charge in the remaining two games and possibly even longer until Ingwe finds a new replacement. The former Strathmore University and Administration Police coach, has only two games to show what he can offer, and also stands a high chance of being elevated to the top seat should he prove his worth. The advantage for Juma is that he has worked with players at Ingwe and if he can win their loyalty, then he won’t need much time to get to learn the squad. He knows exactly, who should play where and in which role at any particular time. The fact that he is in his second stint at the Den makes him even a perfect choice considering that he will not be coming with some extraordinary demands on the negotiation table.