Sport

Kimani utilises WhatsApp to monitor AFC Leopards players

Kimani utilises WhatsApp to monitor AFC Leopards players
  • At the time the Kenyan Premier League was suspended, Leopards were ranked sixth on the log, with 30 points from 23 matches, and nine matches left on the cards
  • Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has since announced the cancellation of the league season but that decision has been challenged at the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT)
  • Leopards have endured financial challenges this season with the management struggling to pay its players for the past six months

AFC Leopards coach Anthony 'Modo' Kimani has resorted to training, communicating, and encouraging his players via mobile telephone messaging application WhatsApp in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic which has halted all football activities in the country.

Kimani, a former Harambee Stars captain, also remains hopeful that football matches, which have been halted by the government and administrators for the past eight weeks following coronavirus outbreak, will 'soon' resume.

He spoke exclusively to Nation Sport on Saturday on NTV during a live broadcast of a Bundesliga match between hosts Augsburg and Wolfsburg. The visiting team won 2-1.

"We've missed football. It is good to see matches now taking place. As a pundit, I am learning new ways of reading a football match," said Kimani.

At the time the Kenyan Premier League was suspended, Leopards were ranked sixth on the log, with 30 points from 23 matches, and nine matches left on the cards.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has since announced the cancellation of the league season but that decision has been challenged at the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT).

In a related development, President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday announced the extension of the dawn to dusk curfew for 21 days. He also barred human and vehicle traffic into Nairobi and Mombasa for a similar period in a move that complicates any chances of football matches being played.

"We understand the (current) circumstances but I would have wished for the matches to be played. We had managed to put together an impressive string of performances when the games were stopped and had a chance of challenging for top honours in the domestic cup (Betway Cup)," Kimani said.

Leopards have endured financial challenges this season with the management struggling to pay its players for the past six months making it challenging for Kimani, a former Kenyan Premier League winner with Mathare United in 2008, to motivate his players.

"It has been a challenging period on the financial front for everyone. I speak to my players about it. We have a WhatsApp group where the fitness trainer shares a training schedule and every player is asked to practice it. I encourage my players to be hungry to succeed and the rest will follow."

Kimani was appointed Leopards coach in March, following the abrupt resignation of Rwandan coach Andre Casa Mbungo.