Kenyan Premier League giants AFC Leopards have appointed Belgian Ivan Jacky Minnaert as their new head coach for the next two years.
Minnaert takes over from Dutchman Jan Koops who has now been handed a new role within the club’s technical bench.
Speaking during the unveiling ceremony in Nairobi on Friday, Minnaert described himself as a “very emotional man”, and that he is looking forward to having a good relationship with fans of the club.
He also stated that he had come to Kenya not as a tourist but as an employee, before outlining his long, medium and short term plans.
“I know that there are great expectations but that is not new to me because I have four years coaching experience in Africa and everywhere I go people expect me to take them a step forward,” said the Belgian.
“Fighting for this year’s league title is my first target, and by the end of the two years I want to have developed the talents of the players I work with. That for me is more important.
“Everywhere I go, I create a great connection with the fans, and I hope that it will be the same here. I am a coach with deep emotions and even though I cannot compare this club with Rayon (Sports), I know that I will find a way of dealing with the challenges.”
Minnaert dramatically left Rayon Sport after just four months in charge, and his last game at the club ended in a 2-0 win over arch rivals SC Kiyovu on Wednesday.
Asked whether he expects to sit through to the end of his contract, the stone-faced Minneart said that as long as the Ingwe management delivers what they have promised, he will deliver his end of the bargain.
“I made the decision with the board members of the club (Rayon Sport) that I leave after that game. I don’t want to divulge much about my reasons for leaving because that is a private matter. However, I don’t like it when people promise what they can’t deliver. In addition, I have basic needs which need fulfilling and I was couldn’t do that at Rayon,” he said.
Minnaert attended his first training session with the Ingwe playing unit Friday, and he confirmed that he will be in the touchline during Ingwe’s next game against cup holders Bandari on Wednesday. He will be assisted by club legend Nicholas Muyoti.
Koops has been handed the team’s Technical Director role, and he will also be in charge of the club’s under 20 team.