Kerr farewell letter to Simba SC

26Jan 2016
Our Reporter
The Guardian
Kerr farewell letter to Simba SC

Simba SC Fans,
THIS is my official press release and final public statement to the media and the fans of Simba SC.

Dylan Kerr(second lest)

A lot of untruths, at times hurtful comments have been made in the press regarding myself and my reign at the football club, so this statement acts in an official capacity and is final.

It feels me with great sadness that my time at Simba SC has come to an abrupt end.

The past six months have been physically and mentally challenging, thwart with problems, but at the same time very enjoyable.

The Simba fans have been fantastic, the people and the wonderful country of Tanzania likewise; it has been a pleasure to experience such a fantastic country.

My two year contract was clear in its mandate, "I would be judged on my league position at the end of the VPL 2015 - 2016 (to win was the task) and my performance subsequently in the possible CAF CL 2016- 2017, should we have qualified".

I can confirm no references were made, within my contract, to performances in any other cup competitions or the recent tournament in Zanzibar.

I firmly believe, to be lying in 3rd position in the log, with a serious chance of challenging for position one or two, I was on track to achieve the mandate set by management.

I have been in the professional game for 32 years, played at a high level in the UK, achieved success within my playing career and have achieved success so far in my coaching career.

I am highly qualified, complete with UEFA badges, coupled with vast football experience from around the globe, including at national team level.

I am not the type of coach who can work, with constant interference from (some) non qualified, inexperienced, non-football board members, who not only want to pick the team, but also be responsible for the hiring and firing of players and basically not take the team forward.

However, given the high volume of coaches hired at Simba SC in recent years, it is no wonder what the problem is and until the club makes a committed decision, to change the culture with immediate effect, the club will not go forward, only backwards.

The club does not have one single board member, with a football related UEFA or CAF recognised qualification, only recently did one member complete an entry level coaching course, for the first time.

Until the club appoint, one qualified board member, with a recognised CAF or UEFA qualification coupled with relevant football experience, to work closely with the head coach, on areas such as player recruitment, match planning, pre-season planning, training facilities, youth development structures and general football related issues, the club will continue in a downward spiral.

This "Technical Director" role is essential, as CAF continues to roll out, the new Club Licensing across Africa, Simba SC will need to ensure, and correct structures are in place throughout the club to qualify for such licence.

Although I experienced problems relating to non-payment of salaries, both to myself and my players, especially in November and December, I carried on with the job and gave it my all.

I understand having worked in football all of my life, these things happen, however to be then subjected to some of the treatment that I and the players endured, from certain board members, I do not believe this was both professional or correct.

Yes, we were all disappointed with the Zanzibar (Mapinduzi) Cup recently, losing in the semi final, however my aim and mandate was clear, the league was the most important and in Zanzibar, we had to utilise the whole squad, to keep the players fresh, in order for or our league challenge to be successful.
To them hear the "team was not fit", was laughable, playing game after game, on top of 25 hour bus journeys, we were all tired yes, but" not fit"? This is laughable and not plausible.

The fitness coach was not chased away, his three-month contract was not renewed, and given his behavior within certain situations, it is no wonder.

Simba SC cannot afford to have its reputation damaged by certain individuals, who choose not to act in the correct manner when representing the club.

This is one point I wish to make very clear, as it is an area that was constantly referred too, the fans should know the truth on the fitness coach matter.

I did recommend numerous, reputable, CAF and UEFA qualified fitness coaches to the board, (to no avail), even though I am also qualified in the area of fitness, through my UEFA qualifications and could manage without a fitness coach, thus ultimately saving the club money.

Being honest after a proper fitness planning pre-season, we didn't then need a full time fitness coach, playing two games a week.
I constantly asked management to ensure that the National Stadium pitch was cut, to suit our "passing style of play" a style myself and my team were trying to end talk in the players.

The length of the pitch at times, was also dangerous to players, who could off sustained serious injuries, it's a responsibility of any Professional Football Club to ensure, attention to detail is adhered too, especially around players’ welfare.

Being supportive to the coach and the players, is to ensure simple requests, can be installed.

I also constantly asked for the proper, original Addidas balls, to be used in our games and not the low quality balls, we were forced to use by certain members, to suit a certain individual, balls that the players hated to play with.

It's amazing to now see, that for the first game after my departure, the pitch was cut and the Addidas balls were used!!!.

Bravo Simba, I say!
As a famous Ce Ce Peniston once sang " Finally"!!!.
But why only now??? I ask, 14 games into the season!

Anyway this is from my side and should be the last of the matter.
I wish to say a big thank you to all the Simba fans, who treated me very well, I could never please every single one of you, but that is football.
You are great supporters, passionate and dedicated.

Also, a big thank you to all of the NGO's and charitable organisations, that the players, staff and all at Simba SC visited around the country, during my reign as head coach, a part of the job I thoroughly enjoyed.

A big thank you to my driver Dula, my technical team and my fantastic squad of players who worked so hard and I will miss them dearly.
To the Simba SC president, who always tried to support me, thank you for the opportunity and to some of the board members who also tried to support me.

I will also add, that in departing, I can confirm that the president has ensured all outstanding salaries due to me, have been paid in full.

I leave the club in a "healthy position" in the league, I look back on my time with Simba SC with mixed emotions, a job "half done".

In parting, I wish all at Simba SC and the people of Tanzania, the very best of luck for the future.

Asante Sana.
Dylan Kerr.