As we come to the close of 2016, ladies and gentlemen, we look back at one, if not the most, of the challenging and tumultuous year in the history of AFC Leopards SC. Indeed, for the better part of the year, it was about what could go wrong going extremely wrong.
We began the year under the IMC leadership, without a sponsor and definitely deep in debt. We were owing suppliers and worse still we owed our players substantial amounts in unpaid salaries and allowances.
The good news came in February when we got on board Sportpesa as our sponsors, albeit under a cloud of serious fraud from some members of IMC. The less we talk about this fiasco the better for the leopard to heal.
We held peaceful and well organized club elections in July midwifed partly by the Sports Disputes Tribunal and the IEBC. Except for one aspirant who moved to challenge the process, the outcome was largely a reflection of the voters’ desires.
We inherited a largely broke club with a large debt to deal with. We have tried to live within our means over the last 5 months and the result is a more efficient and stable team. We are not yet debt free but efforts have been increased to ensure a transparent financial management environment. We shall be sharing the audited accounts and the expected budget to the members at the AGM in 2017.
As we look for other partners, we want to encourage members to also use their networks to source for sponsors. The office is ready to engage you on this.
We embarked on a painful but necessary journey of restructuring the Technical Bench and the playing unit. We are happy to report that as we look into the new season, we have the best bench anywhere in the KPL with a blend of foreign and local expertise.
Head Coach – Stewart Hall UEFA Pro
Assistant coach – Dennis Kitanzi CAF B (taking CAF A exams)
Team Manager – Wellington Lidonde
Fitness trainer – Mike Shamiah
G/keeper trainer – Alain Mushegera CAF B licence / FIFA G/K trainer
We have also undertaken to strengthen the playing unit. The complete team will be unveiled to members at the end of the transfer window.
We have tasked the TB to deliver a Top3 finish in KPL and a final berth in the GoTv shield as the minimal. We look forward to the support of members as we set ourselves on the journey of rebuilding.
The Club now boasts of a functional secretariat. Members are asked to visit the office during office hours for any queries, updates or engagement they may have. The address is as below;
Vision Plaza, 3rd Floor, Suite 1
Mombasa Road, Nairobi.
We went through club licensing as was required of all the teams. Though we had challenges in documentation, we managed to get provisional license to enable us participate in the KPL in 2017.
Appointment of CEO
As part of reforming the governance and efficient management at the secretariat, we hired Mr Ronald Namai as the Chief Executive Officer. He has been tasked with leading in the re-organization, marketing and overall professional leadership at the secretariat. We expect this appointment to lead us to a more robust and properly managed club with a corporate image and an enhanced brand value.
Membership and Branches
The year was very demanding on members with poor results on and off the pitch. Save for elections, member activities were much muted. As NEC, we organized a branch chairmen’s meeting in October to update members on the status of the club. Such interactions will be more frequent going forward. In the coming year, we intend to revamp branches and increase member numbers and activities. We urge the leadership at branch level to be more energized and ensure renewals and new recruitment is improved. For purposes of clarity, the renewal fees for membership will be Kes 1,000 (for those already in the register) while new members will pay Kes 1,200 inclusive of application fees.
In order to fully comply with the Sports Act as well as CAF licensing regulations, we have been asked to review our constitution. We intend to embark on this exercise early in the year to ensure we have an acceptable, robust and forward looking constitution latest by June 2017.
It has not been all gloom. One of our best moments of 2016 has been the exploits of our youth team. Having participated in the Maisha County league for the first time, we managed to finish at Position 9 out of 20 narrowly missing promotion by a point. The team scored 80 goals, the most in the league by far. Currently, they have already qualified for the quarter finals of the KPL U20 tournament.
We wish them success and commit to spare resources in 2017 to support them. This is surely the foundation for a great Ingwe in the days to come.
Finally, from the entire National Executive Committee, we wish you a merry Christmas and a splendid 2017
On behalf of the Secretary General
AFC Leopards SC