Nairobi City Stars wishes to announce that, after two good years, Sanjin Alagic has left his role as head coach at the expiry of his contract.
The UEFA Pro licensed Bosnian passes on the button to his assistant John Amboko who steps up to handle the team as head coach.
The Bosnian joined Simba wa Nairobi in July 2019 for a season, initially, and returned to lead the team in their first season in the top flight following promotion after winning the 2019/2020 National Super League (NSL).
Sanjin’s contract lapsed at the close of June 2021, but chose to handle three more games against Wazito, Ulinzi Stars and champions Gor Mahia on Saturday 17 July 2021 – that ended 1-1 – as he finalized his transition.
His exit comes at a time when there are seven more games to conclude the current 2020/21 season that, had circumstance been normal, could have wrapped by the time his contract ended in June.
Amboko has been part and parcel of City Stars since inception in 2003 as a player all through to 2017, save for 2013 when joined AFC Leopards.
He called it a day after the 2017 season and went straight to coaching handling the team throughout the 2018 season in the NSL and part of the transitional 2018/19 season.
He acquired his CAF ‘C’ coaching Diploma license during the 2019/20 season while acting as Sanjin’s assistant.
In confirming Sanjin’s departure, Simba wa Nairobi owner and chairperson Jonathan Jackson said;
“I very much thank Sanjin for his passion and dedication in his professional approach to managing a team from the bottom of the super league to one of the top teams in the Premier league,”
“I greatly admire his personal engagement with the players, supporting and encouraging them individually and as a team which resulted in a very strong bond and unity among the players,”
“Sanjin, a UEFA Pro coach fitted perfectly to our puzzle and he brought professionalism to the coaching department. And the rest followed; good results, tumbling of various records, a promotion back to the premier league after four years and, a good run in top flight,”
“I wish him great further success in the future building and managing winning teams.” added Jonathan
On his part, Sanjin had this to say to the supporters of Simba wa Nairobi;
I’m writing this to inform all of our fans that after 2 wonderful years with Nairobi City Stars, it is time for me to go home. I am hugely proud that I have been here for so long, when most coaches tend to change every 6 months.
I wanted to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, for your support. The past two years have been amazing, and amongst the most intense in my career.
I came to the club when it was struggling and sitting in the National League. When I arrived, there was 6 weeks to the start of the season, and we didn’t even have a team.
I remember my first days, working hard with Patrick (Korir)and Samson (Otieno), scouting players all around Nairobi, to put together a squad that could try to be competitive.
That was the first objective, to be competitive. It was like a movie; bringing together many players that had not played together, and trying to create something that did not previously exist. We created a culture, and together we worked as a team.
We did more than simply become competitive, we won the league. We were champions.
The second season was going to be even more difficult. We are a humble, hard working team and we know our limitations financially.
I still believe we are the most organized team in Kenya, and maybe East Africa, but we still had to face up to big teams like Gor, Leopards, Kariobangi Sharks, Tusker, KCB and Wazito. The objective for this season was to work hard, and survive. I remember saying this in several interviews at the start of the season.
With just a few games to go, we have more than survived. We have thrived. We won 5 games in a row for the first time in the club’s history. We reached the quarter-final of the (Betway) cup.
We did all of this with a vibrant team including Oliver, Bolton, Elvis, Sven, Steven mixed with some experienced lads like our captain Muki, Salim, Davis, Odera, Kip and Pinchez.
With all of these positive things, we cannot forget that the journey has been hard, and in this 2-year period the whole world has changed. Covid has made things difficult for us, and for me, I have not been able to have my family travel to Kenya, nor have I had too much time to go back and see them.
Even more, we suffered the loss of our dear friend Neville Pudo. Neville’s passing was sudden, and was a huge shock to all of us. It is important to cherish this life, and I hope he is looking at the boys from wherever he is now, and that he is proud of what they have achieved in the past 2 years.
Saying this, I have spent too much time away from home. If the situation was different and my family was with me, maybe I wouldn’t be writing this statement, however it is time for me to return and spend time with them.
I want to thank Jonathan Jackson. He has a vision, and I know that he will achieve what he wishes to achieve with time, energy and patience. We have built a platform for the team to develop and progress for years to come. I want to thank Patrick, Samson and all of the technical staff, as well as Nihad, who unfortunately could not stay with us past February.
Most of all, I want to thank all of my boys. You know I am always here for you and I will always look out for you. I will continue to support you through your careers and will help you whenever and wherever I can.
I want to thank the fans. Your support has been fantastic. You are a huge part of the rebirth of this club. With a chairman like Jonathan, the technical team currently in place, the young lads coming through the squad, and all of you backing them, I have no doubt that Nairobi City Stars will be right at the top in the years to come. Keep backing the lads, back the next coach, and I am sure that the club will have its time.
When that happens, I will look forward to seeing it, and knowing I have been a small part in the beautiful history of this club, Nairobi City Stars.