Western Stima FC head coach Paul Ogai is the Kenyan Premier League coach of the month for December.
Ogai piped Mathare United FC’s boss Francis Kimanzi to the monthly accolade.
Ogai, who lead Stima back to the KPL after a season in the second-tier FKF National Super League, guided the Kisumu-based Powermen to a roaring start as his team took charge of the nascent table before 2008 champions and Slum Boys took over.
Stima (16) have since slipped to seventh on the log, eight adrift of the frontrunners having notched four wins and draws apiece and losing only once as they seek to cement their place in the KPL following their relegation at the back end of the 2017 season.
“I’m so happy right now I don’t have words. In my life I’ve only been recognised once before during my high school days but that was internal. So this one means so much to me and hopefully it’s the start of many things to come,” Ogai remarked after recieving the gong.
“We hope to first avoid relegation then fight for a place in the top 10. Our squad is very balanced with young players and very experienced ones. I’m just looking forward to an exciting new chapter after the good start we’ve had,” he said
Ogai who is in his second stint at Stima guided the newly promoted side to earning three wins and a draw to finish the month on top of the log.
They began the campaign with a 1-0 win over Posta Rangers FC before beating former champions Tusker FC by a similar margin in Kisumu.
A 2-1 home win against Kakamega Homeboyz FC at home ensured that they stayed top of the table and his combativeness was witnessed when he rallied his boys to picking a rare point against Bandari FC in Mbaraki.
With Mathare also doing well in the month, little separated ex-Harambee Stars boss Kimanzi and the eventual winner who got 14 votes against seven for the Mathare head coach in the ballot.
Ogai previously coached the now defunct Palos FC, Agro Chemicals and Kisumu All Stars and becomes the first SPL tactician to collect the gong this term.
He becomes the first coach to win the accolade in the 2018/19 season.
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