Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sofapaka coach heading back to Azam

PHOTO | MOHAMMED AMIN Stewart Hall, the Sofapaka coach, instructs his players during their Tusker Premier League match against Western Stima at Nairobi City Stadium on September 21, 2012. Stima won 2-1.

PHOTO | MOHAMMED AMIN Stewart Hall, the Sofapaka coach, instructs his players during their Tusker Premier League match against Western Stima at Nairobi City Stadium on September 21, 2012. Stima won 2-1.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ODINDO AYIEKO [email protected]

Barely two months after taking over as Sofapaka coach, Stewart Hall has parted ways with the club and rejoined Tanzanian side Azam.

The Briton quit on Tuesday after being offered a deal by the moneyed Tanzanian club, which he led to the East and Central Africa Club championships finals in June.

According to Hall, who leaves for Tanzania on Wednesday, Azam made an offer that Sofapaka could not match.

He told the Daily Nation on Tuesday: “I have talked to the club president (Elly Kalekwa) about the offer that has been tabled before me and he has given me his blessing. 

“I am not reneging on my contract; I will forgo one month’s salary,” he said.

Kalekwa on Tuesday confirmed that Hall will be heading back to Tanzania for a deal that was too good to resist. No figures have been divulged. Azam are sponsored by billionaire owner Said Salim Bakhressa.

“I cannot hold him here yet he has been offered something better by Azam,” said the Congolese businessman.

Hall had joined the 2009 Kenya champions with great promise to turn around the fortunes of the club which has failed to sparkle this season.

He replaced Salim Ali, who had been fired after a series of poor results that saw the club fall off the pace in the race for the Tusker Premier League title.

He immediately set off to clear the club of players he deemed unfit to play for the club. In a space of one month he fired five players among them former international Collins Okoth “Gatusso”.

Off load players

Just last week he announced he will off load more players as part of restructuring the playing unit. But even before his changes could start showing, he has walked out.

On Tuesday, Kalekwa said assistant coach David Ouma will take charge of the club’s technical bench for the remaining league assignments and the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Cup where they will meet Tusker FC in the semi finals.

Gentleman’s agreement

“But I am already in the process of scouting around for another coach to replace Hall,” said Kalekwa.

“It is sad he is leaving after quite a short spell but we have to live with that. Azam has offered us no money for him, it is a gentleman’s agreement to let him go.”

Sofapaka, the 2009 league champions are currently fourth in the league with 45 points, ten behind leaders Gor Mahia with two games left.

Under Hall, Sofapaka have won one game, lost two and drawn twice.

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