September 17, 2021

I am ready for coaching as soon as next season – AFC Leopards legend Okwemba

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The former midfielder believes he is ready for any top tier team and hopes opportunities will come his way

Charles Okwemba believes he is ripe for top tier coaching from as soon as the 2020/21 season.

Former players turning to coaching is nothing new in football, with the likes of AFC Leopards coach Anthony Kimani stepping up into management after taking over from Rwandan tactician Andre Casa Mbungo in December last year.

Okwemba believes he will be able to handle the pressure associated with coaching once he gets the chance.

“Coaching comes automatically to most former players and I am not an exception,” Okwemba told Goal on Tuesday.

“Actually, I have been doing it with lower teams, the latest being the now National Super League side Vihiga Bullets where I was the assistant coach to Edward Manoah.

“Coaching has massive pressure, but I am ready for it and the challenges coming along with it.”

The 40-year-old refused, however, to name a specific team he would like to start his top flight career with in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL).

“I have qualifications to handle any team in the league, be it the top tier or NSL,” Okwemba told Goal.

“Before leaving for Vihiga, I had offers which I did not take because there were some basics I needed to perfect.

“Now I am ready and whichever team comes first, I will for sure go with it. My main aim is to help the players get the right direction and fulfil their potential. It is time for me to give back to the community in a bigger way, and that is by improving lives.”

In an earlier interview with Goal, the former Kenya international opined on what he feels lets down Kenyan football.

“I am a fighter and love football, but unprofessionalism from players, administrators and some fans piss me off,” the former AFC Leopards player said.

“This is the reason why we are still struggling with our football, it almost made me quit. Football is administered casually, we have not taken it seriously. I collided with many players and tacticians but I stood my ground and kept performing to my level best.”

Despite not winning the Kenyan Premier League title, Okwemba helped Leopards to win the Shield Cup in 2001, 2009 and 2013.