NAIROBI, Kenya- Anthony Mwangi, who until last month was the head coach of SportPesa Premier League side Nakumatt FC, believes the arrival of American Melis Medo gives the team the momentum it needs to remain in the domestic top flight.
Cash-strapped at the beginning of the 2018 SPL owing to the financial woes bedeviling former sponsors Nakumatt retail chain, the team has enjoyed a new lease of life when it was taken over by Nairobi politician- Francis Mureithi.
“The arrival of Melis gave us renewed impetus and I’m thankful for him. I’m still young and will surely learn a lot from him,” the soft-spoken Mwangi remarked in Nairobi on Tuesday.
Mureithi’s investment gave Mwangi and his side a platform to escape the relegation places to the relative safety of 12th (24 points), a run that saw the tactician named the Fidelity Insurance Coach of the Month for May on Tuesday.
The accolade made Nakumatt the first SPL side to scoop the Players’ (Boniface Mukhekhe) and Coaches’ double with Mwangi, 33, leading the retailers, who are yet to ditch their name despite a change of management as expected, to three victories and a draw in May.
“The injection of financial investment by new owners helped transform the team during that month but I must give credit to the players for rising to the occasion.
“We previously went into games without proper training but since finance was availed preparations were better. The players did their part and I’m grateful it won me this award,” he added.
Their best run of the season that saw them add 10 points was matched by 2017 SPL runners-up, Sofapaka FC but Batoto Ba Mungu tactician John Baraza lost out to Mwangi on superior goal count.
Nakumatt launched their May campaign with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Zoo Kericho FC in followed by a two-all draw against AFC Leopards SC in Machakos.
They then defeated Tusker FC 2-1 before beating Posta Rangers FC 2-0 in the last match of the month at Camp Toyoyo Grounds.
Mwangi, a former Liberty Academy, and Mathare Youth FC coach took home KSh75,000 and personalized trophy.