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Why Ouma was axed

By Charles Thuku
Tuesday, April 13th, 2021
Sacked Harambee Starlets coach David Ouma and (inset) his successor Charles Okere. Photo/PD/RODGERS NDEGWA
In summary

Football Kenya Federation yesterday appointed Charles Okere as the national women’s team, Harambee Starlets, head coach to replace David Ouma under unclear circumstances.

According to a communique from FKF Chief Executive Officer Barry Otieno, Ouma parted ways with the federation on mutual consent, but reliable information from a senior federation official who sought anonymity reveals Ouma was axed after he was involved in a confrontation with a section of senior federation officials over his latest Harambee Starlets provisional squad.

It is believed that Ouma’s decision to name Gilly Okumu, who doubles up as a national hockey team player and a striker for Women’s Premier League side Mathare United Women, and also the call-up of Mathare United Women’s custodian Valentine Khwaka, who is believed to have been proposed by a National Executive Committee member to the disliking of some officials.

Okere, who until his appointment was Tusker FC assistant coach, will be deputised by Godfrey Oduor and Mildred Cheche.

Oduor is the KCB assistant coach while Cheche has been part of KCB technical bench.

The development has sent tongues wagging among football fans in the country especially given Ouma’s achievements with the team and several others he has previously handled.  

Ouma is credited as being the first coach to take Kenya to their first ever Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in 2016 besides spearheading Starlets win in the 2019 Cecafa Women Championships after beating hosts Tanzania 2-0 in the final in Dar es Salaam.

The Dutch-trained tactician with the highest CAF Level A certification started out his coaching career as a youth coach at the Mathare Youth Sports Association in Nairobi.

 A trained architect, he started his coaching career in 1993 as a youth coach with his former club Outspan FC. 

He continued coaching within the youth ranks especially at the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) and in 2002 led the team to the Norway Cup winning bronze in the Under-16 category.

Following that feat, he was promoted to be the assistant coach for the senior Mathare United team in the Kenyan Premier League.

 In 2004, he was appointed an instructor for the MYSA/KNVB coaching courses and in that same year did his KNVB International Coaching Course UEFA-C in Zeist, Netherlands.

 The following year, he coached Mathare United Under-21 team to the East Africa Cup in Moshi, Tanzania, and  was later appointed an assistant coach with the MYSA team which earned promotion to the Kenyan premier League in 2007.

 He did his UEFA B coaching License in Netherlands in 2008 and a year later, earned his first senior team head coach role, taking over at MYSA after they were relegated from the top tier. 

In 2009, he broke into the Kenyan Premier League taking over as Posta Rangers head coach where he worked until 2011.

 In 2012, he joined Sofapaka where he worked until 2014. 

In 2013, he was named Kenya’s second-best coach of the year in the annual Kenyan Premier League Awards, while in 2014, he led the club to second spot finish in the KPL and won the Shield Cup.

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