Edward Manoah: Return of the other Lion
Midway of an NSL league clash in Nairobi's Camp Toyoyo grounds, a hoarse voice cuts through the air as one of the coaches' barks instructions to his team.
Pato! that too casual! Vihiga United's coach went forth from the dug-out. Its one of the rare days that the weather has been forgiving with a cool breeze leisurely gliding over the weary artificial turf
With Manoah- in his trademark white cap- at the technical area, there is however pretty less for Vihiga Players to get complacent.
The anecdote exemplifies the routine of an average coach in his getting his staying competitive.
More often the call has for a more aggressive approach, an example of what the KPL should brace for as the former AFC Leopards and Kakamega Homeboyz trainer returns his lion-like bravado to the top league.
Thanks to his insistence on speaking his mind. It's here that the coach's rather fiery nature comes out.
Manoah sly dig at KPL side
A case in point came in Vihiga's debut season in the NSL. After a rather decent debut, Manoah had sensed a section of his players being wooed by a KPL side.
The overall effects were having his players' head turned to the detriment of the club.
-It's unfortunate and regrettable that these is coming from such quarters. We are aware of it and we are putting them on notice, his warning against the alleged tapping of his players went.
This was to be the first of many instances that the coach's demeanour came to light, watching his team play revealed more.
A fighter like his team
Scenes of match officials being embroiled in run-ins with players or coaches remains a normal occurred in football games
The rows sometimes, friendly disagreement to heated ones have in a coupled of time brought to subjection.
For Manaoh, perhaps just as his team, the coach wasn't the type to go down without 'a fight'
Despite having earned expulsion from the technical area a couple of times, the trainer would still come out adamant and unyielding
'This is not how we want our game to be played or develop, he would hit back.
-We cannot have referees come to games with fixed minds, the coach once retorted after being banished to the stand. His message wasn't any different when the press caught up after the game.
As a county-sponsored club, Vihiga being alienated from politics remains next to impossible. Perhaps a realm where many would fear to tread for obvious reason, the coach knew no bounds.
With full knowledge of what the county sponsorship means to the club, the coach in his outspokenness never shied from delivering his message.
With an added strategy the coach would insist on his players' concern, asserting that no amount of political play should override the interest of the players and club which is remains a community entity.
And more tactical battles
The very message was delivered recently upon steering Vihiga to KPL. His message could never have been more opportune as he urged politicians to limit their 'meddling' of the community club to the minimum and accord player the chance to focus on their game.
A lion in his own way; Edward Manoah is tasked with a far much daunting task after conquering the NSL
Here his tactical brain that guided Vihiga to top flight in only their second asking will equally be put to the test against the country's best.