On April 1st AFC Leopards head coach Patrick Aussems announced through his twitter handle that he was taking some time off to travel back to his native Belgium to be with his family following the indefinite suspension of sporting activities in the country due to the high rise in Covid-19 infections.
Nothing wrong with that, there is nothing going on in terms of sports, so why not use the time to be with your loved ones? The problem with this however is that raises questions of whether the 56-year-old will indeed return to his role with the 12 time Kenyan champions once football resumes.
This scepticism among the club’s faithful as well as local fans in general isn’t unfounded, it’s a different cast but the script is the same. Whenever a foreign tactician asks for “some time off”, it most than certainly means that the end is nigh.
Asking for some time off has been an escape route for many, take for example Steven Pollack who left his role as head coach of Gor Mahia in September of last year after initially revealing that he had left for his native Finland for a “10-day holiday”.
“The coach (Pollack) requested for some days off and we gave him 10 days and he will be travelling tonight to Finland,” Gor’s Vice Chairman Francis Wasuna is quoted as saying at the time on the club’s official portal.
“The plan is to have him (Pollack) back after 10 days but we are not sure of any quarantine programs the other end. If it happens and his 10 days are interfered with, then an extension of his stay in Finland might be necessary,” Wasuna explained, revealing in not so much detail that we probably had seen the last of the 60-year-old.
Before Pollack, it had happened again at Gor with the Finn’s predecessor, Cypriot Hassan Oktay asking for some time off to attend to a personal matter and once he had left that was that.
“Listen, I am in a situation where I cannot predict what will happen next. I will have to see what happens at home, and then talk to my club chairman, I need to clear my head too, have a break,” Oktay explained at the time.
The same was also seen at The Den in 2019 when Rwandese coach Andre Cassa Mbungo left in December for the holidays before revealing days later that he had tendered his resignation due to accrued arrears.
So the scepticism surrounding Aussems departure is justified and the fact that he chose April 1st to make his announcement fuels the belief that he is long gone. K’Ogalo fans know it all too well!