Paul Treu has resigned as the Kenya Sevens head coach citing unfavourable working conditions within the Kenya Rugby Union board.
Treu, who took over Kenya Sevens almost the same period last year, said this weekend’s Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens, the third leg of the IRB World Sevens Series, will be his last assignment with the team.
KRU chairman Mwangi Muthee, who acknowledged that there has been big interference at Kenya Sevens technical bench by some members of the board, said Treu’s deputies Vuyo Zangqa and Felix Ochieng will continue to handle the team. “It’s now time too to incorporate Humphrey Kayange in the technical bench,” said Muthee.
Graham Bentz will also remain as strength and conditioning coach said Muthee.
However, it’s left to be known whether Zangqa and Bentz, who joined Treu, when he took charge at Kenya Sevens at last year’s Dubai Sevens, will stay.
Speaking from Port Elizabeth, Bentz and Zangqa said they are still with Kenya Sevens. “No I haven’t quit and Vuyo hasn’t also but its only time that will tell,” said Bentz.
Treu said it was never his intentions to walk away from Kenya Sevens team but KRU board members were on war path of destruction that will not have let him execute his duties as team's coach.
Being his first time coming from a high performance country to a semi-professional level, Treu said he wanted to use his first year to assess how Kenya Rugby Union and Kenyan Clubs worked.
ASSESS HOW CLUBS WORK
“I wanted to put in place structures to monitor how players responded in the first year then give it a crack in the second year but things have not worked well because of the challenges at the KRU board.
“It’s a shame, really, and I am very sad not to see my vision for the team reach the 2016 Olympic Games but I am grateful for the opportunity and will always be there for Kenya Sevens if need be,” explained Treu.
However, Treu said his decision to quit didn’t involve one of his deputies Zangqa and Bentz and called on his charges to make him proud in his final tournament at Port Elizabeth. “I have spent some good times with the players and I believe they will make Port Elizabeth event memorable for me,” said Treu.
Treu said Port Elizabeth will be his last event as far as the world of sevens is concerned. “I want to move to Cape Town to be with my family and I don’t think I will engage in sevens rugby again,” said Treu.
Treu succeeded Mike Friday after the former England Sevens coach also opted to resign after one year, having guided Kenya Sevens to the 2013 World Cup Sevens semi-final in Moscow.
Friday also resigned under almost similar circumstances with one more year still on his contract following divisions in the board.
Confusion reigned after the 2013/2014 IRB World Series final legs of Scotland and London when a statement from by then KRU director of squads Philip Jalang’o and secretary Jack Okoth indicated that Friday had been fired.
However, Muthee would release another statement from London indicating that Friday was to stay up until the World Cup Sevens when the board was to decide. It’s there after that Friday opted to resign after the World Cup.
Muthee said it is sad that it has now become a business for some board members to hound out coaches as they continue to interfere with the technical bench. “We had great plans with Treu but people who have never played rugby at high level and first team are now experts,” said Muthee. “It’s a high time the rugby fraternity put its feet down and get the right people who can run rugby.”