New Panthers boss Tomas Trucha had been Leopards head coach only for a month before he was appointed by the Malaysian club.
Needing a new head coach due to former head coach Manzoor Azwira’s lack of an AFC pro coaching licence, newly-promoted Malaysia Super League side Penang FC recently landed on Czech head coach Tomas Trucha.
While he has been garnering attention from Malaysian fans mainly due to the similarities in his appearance to one German manager of Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp, the story that took place just prior to his arrival in Malaysia also warrants attention.
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According to reports by the Kenyan and African press as well as the Kenyan edition of Goal, just before he joined the Panthers, the 49-year old trainer had bizarrely left Kenyan Premier League side AFC Leopards only one month after he was appointed.
Trucha was appointed to the head coach post in early November ahead of the 2020-2021 season of the league, and despite having received a two-year deal, reportedly later left the side after only one match; a 2-1 season opener win at home against Tusker on November 28.
According to news reports, Trucha and his representative Prince Channis have received physical threats from those purporting to be members of the club.
“It is unfortunate that some people who call themselves our members are trying to destabilise our team. They have seen us doing well and they are surely not happy.
“We have beaten Tusker in the first match and there are no comments on our social media pages had we lost that match, you could have seen a lot of negative comments. But we know we have people who masquerade as AFC Leopards members and fans but in the real sense, they are not,” explained Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda as quoted by the Kenyan edition of Goal on December 2.
Dan Shikanda and Tomas Trucha. Photo from AFC Leopards
Just one day earlier, a source said that there were parties attempting to interfere with Trucha’s work at the club.
“[Trucha] is not happy with some officials who are pushing some players to be involved in games.
“He has made his stance known to those who want to have a hand in squad selection and he will communicate the same to the chairman at Tuesday evening’s meeting,” a source close to the club told the Kenyan edition of Goal.
It did not take long for the Czech trainer to make up his mind. On December 4, the club announced that they have accepted his resignation.
“Today, we accepted Tomas Trucha’s resignation as head coach, effective immediately. This has been occasioned by the coach feeling that his safety is not guaranteed since his manager, Mr Prince Channis, has been threatened by people purporting to be Ingwe supporters. This is disturbing and unacceptable for anyone who claims to be a supporter of this esteemed club.
“True, AFC Leopards’ supporters hold themselves to the highest standard and put the club’s and public before all else. At this time, the remaining technical bench shall take charge as we consider a replacement.
“On behalf of the management, we thank Trucha for his contributions to the club and wish him well in his future endeavours.”
While the real reason behind his hasty departure has not been conclusively revealed by the local media, Leopards have reportedly been a club in turmoil for some time. Their previous permanent boss Casa Mbungo had left in 2019 due to financial issues surfacing at the club, while the fallout of Trucha’s departure has resulted in an exchange of accusations between the club board and a former player.
Just one day after his resignation, Tuchel was announced as the Panthers, new head coach. Surely he will be hoping for a more calm working environment at the northern peninsular Malaysia side.