Is Tomas Trucha the man to deliver for AFC Leopards?

AFC Leopards coach Tomas Trucha

A common old adage goes like this, long is not forever. AFC Leopards fans have for a long time waiting for the club to appoint a head coach. After a very long period of cry and wailing, that opportunity finally came. On 2nd of November, it was officially confirmed that Tomas Trucha had been arrived at as the permanent replacement to Rwandese Casa Mbugo. The announcement by the club chairman technically sealed the fate of Antony Kimani at the club. It, for now, means that the AFC Leopards legend will now resume his duties as the technical bench assistant coach.

As he settles in, we can only hope that the synonymity between AFC Leopards and English side Chelsea FC will not continue. By synonymity, am not talking about the blue coloured jerseys or something related to that. Here am talking about the habit of always and ever hiring and firing them. Of course, we can’t ignore the fact that the two teams are well known among their fans by their traditional and eternal blue jerseys. Chelsea FC is a well-known notorious team when it comes to coaches. They are the masters of hiring and firing coaches in England and even in greater Europe. To them, football is all about winning and irrespective of anything, Chelsea must always win.

The same case is always and all the time right here with us. AFC Leopards is the most notorious team in Kenya when it comes to hiring and firing. That, I think makes it better to be called AFC Leopards “Always Firing Coaches”. Not even their archrivals have managed to reach the record-breaking history that they have set. It’s only at AFC leopards that we have seen a coach resign within 24hours of his appointment.

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The task ahead of Trucha

Before the Czech Republic citizen is an enormous task. He has a task to ensure that he transforms the club to what it used to be. On his campaign agendas to the club members and fanatics, AFC Chairman Dan Shikanda stated clearly his intentions for the club. On top of his priorities was to win a league silverware. He promised to end the prolonged decades of trophyless seasons at the den.

From this alone, it’s a sure bet that even without checking at the terms of work of the new coach, winning the league is part of them. Ingwe who are thirteen times premier league champions last won the league in 1998. From that point till to date, the club has not managed to win a league trophy. In a league that is now dominated by Gor Mahia, its high time the club pulls up.

In recent years since 2012, Gor Mahia has dominated the local league. The Green Army has managed to win seven titles in eight seasons. The only season that the club failed to win the league was in 2016. In that year, Gor Mahia lost the league to Tusker FC as they were deducted points on the eleventh hour of winning the league on accusations of hooliganism and vandalism. For Kogalo, they had to wait for 18 years before winning the league. After mastering how to do it, however, they have performed as per excellence.

Mashemeji derby

Derbies are all about numbers. It all depends on who gets the bragging rights at the end of the match day. For records, AFC Leopards have not managed to win the derby since 2016 when Brazilian Ze Maria was at the helm of Gor Mahia. Four years consecutively without winning the derby is far much too long for a club in the stature of AFC Leopards. That, therefore, adds more pressure and work on Tomas Trucha to have the house in order.

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Gor Mahia winning the league and the Mashemeji derby is now a norm. we are all used to it. Will this the season that AFC Leopards will be up to challenge the Green Army? Only time shall tell. Its however a fact that what many AFC Leopards fans will love to defeat Gor Mahia first before delving themselves to win the league. Will Trucha replicate the same?

Being one of the biggest derbies in the Eastern-Central region of Africa, the derby needs some fresh energy. We need to see some life and form of competition whenever these two teams meet. Making AFC Leopard’s serious challengers for the derby will be the biggest reward that the new coach will ever do to the Kenyan football family.

The stakes

Tomas Trucha comes in at AFC Leopards at a very crucial time. He comes in when the stakes at the club are a notch higher. Unlike former foreign tacticians at the club, he is coming at the helm with a perfectly blended team. The immediate head coach comes assistant coach Antony Kimani has for some time tried his best. As a former player of the club, there is no reasonable doubt that can be cast against his ability, we have worked tirelessly in transforming the club. He has helped to build a good team playing a very beautiful and entertaining game. We can now only hope that Tomas Trucha builds on the same so that we start enjoying watching the AFC Leopards that we have longed to see. We can only wish him all the best as we welcome him at the Den.

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