Kenya's passion for foreign football coaches not paying dividend
11 November 2013, 12:36
Nairobi - Kenya's national team "Harambee Stars" and leading clubs in the country have had a fair share of expatriate coaches who have not brought much success to the teams.
From Frenchman Henry Michel, Belgians Luc Eymael, Antoine Hey to name just but a few, the turnover of the foreign legion coaches has been quite high.
Kenya has never qualified for the World Cup and has made only three appearances at the Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON). Gor Mahia remains the only Kenyan club to have won a continental title.
The last time Kenya participated at the AFCON in 2004, coach Jacob "Ghost" Mulee was in charge.
Egypt is the most successful football team in the history of AFCON, after having won the trophy seven times, mainly with local coaches.
The recent three successive victories (2006, 2008 and 2010) were bagged under the charge of home-grown boy Hassan Shehata.
Since American coach Bob Bradley took over, qualifying for continental tournament has remained a tall order for Egypt.
Recently during the World Cup qualifying rounds for Brazil 2014, the Pharaohs received a 6-1 drubbing from Ghana's Black Stars in Accra, effectively ending their quest for qualifying for the Mundial.
European coaches are products of the same leagues that most Africans play for. African coaches attend the same coaching courses as their European counterparts, yet African football associations continue to prefer expatriate coaches above local coaches, who they pay higher salaries.
Recent statistics in Kenya have shown that foreign coaches are better paid than their local counterparts even when they seem to serve at the same level of management.
Last season's winning coach Robert Matano won the league with Tusker FC ahead of the Croat Zdravko Logarusic who coached Gor Mahia.
Matano takes home 1,000 U.S. dollars a month whereas the Croat earned 6,000 dollars and still was demanding a pay rise of up to 9,000 dollars before he was shown the door for absconding duty.
His successor, Bob Williamson reportedly pockets 7,000 dollars in addition to car and house allowances. On the contrary, their local counterparts struggle with transport on crowded public service vehicles to conduct training sessions yet many are the times they have outsmarted the foreign tacticians.
Another example that abounds is that of AFC Leopards coach James Nandwa who currently earns 3,000 dollars compared to his predecessor, Belgian Luc Eymael who took home 8,000 dollars before he was sacked for lack of commitment to his duties.
The national team head coach Adel Amrouche earns 14,000 dollars and before him, Frenchman Henri Michel was taking home close 50,000 dollars.
AFC Leopards are now enjoying a good season after the appointment of Nandwa as the head coach, though in an acting capacity.
The team's striker Allan Wanga recently remarked that coach Nandwa has brought unity in the playing unit and the harmony is instrumental for the positive results the team is currently enjoying.
Nandwa replaced former coach Eymael and has already registered positive results in all his outings. Any coach who desires to succeed must have a rapport with the players, an attribute the tactician has continually emphasized at the den.