Why coach Dylan Kerr and Black Leopards parted ways
Falling out with assistant coach Lehlohonolo Seema believed to be behind his resignation
Dylan Kerr resigned from his job as head coach of Black Leopards over a falling out with assistant coach Lehlohonolo Seema‚ a source alleges.
The source‚ who declined to be named‚ said Kerr and Seema had disagreed over various tactical issues during the club’s last few matches. Kerr at ones stage reacted angrily and swore at Seema‚ and was due to appear before a disciplinary hearing but resigned instead.
Leopards on Monday released a statement saying the Premier Soccer League’s (PSL’s) second-last club in the rankings and Kerr had agreed to “part ways amicably”. Seema‚ fellow assistant Morgan Shivambu‚ and goalkeeper-coach Sam Banda have been named to share the interim head coaching duties.
Leopards spokesperson Berry Ramunenyiwa said he could not confirm or deny that the falling out was the reason for Kerr’s departure as the club has an agreement with the coach that neither party will reveal the details or reasons for his leaving.
“That is why we have said in our media statements there have been discussions we have been having with him [Kerr] on certain issues‚” Ramunenyiwa said on Tuesday.
“But when we eventually parted ways amicably we agreed that we were not going to talk about any other thing other than saying ‘we had parted ways amicably’.
“So we do not want to engage as a club in any other stuff about who said what‚ who said what happened. Because we like him. We have got a good relationship with him. And it’s unfortunate that we could not proceed to work with him. It’s a decision that did not come easy‚ where we had to accept that we could not continue.”
Ramunenyiwa said Leopards’ decision not to speak on the matter comes despite criticism for parting ways with a second coach already in 2020/2021‚ and not fully explaining the circumstances.
“In our humble way‚ we are being chastised by people out there for the lack of people understanding what happened or why we let him go‚” the Leopards official said.
Kerr said he could not comment on the details of his departure. His agent‚ Paul Mitchell‚ could not be reached for comment.
Kerr became the club’s second coach in the 2020/2021 season after Belgian Patrick Aussems‚ appointed in the off-season‚ was fired upon losing his first three matches. In nine games Kerr won twice‚ lost four and drew three.
The coach has bounced around Limpopo clubs since arriving at the PSL from Kenya’s Gor Mahia in November 2018. He coached Leopards for seven months in the second half of the 2018/2019 season to 13th place‚ leaving in May 2019 because his mother was ill in the UK.
Kerr was fired by Baroka FC in November — after guiding them to 14th place and survival on the final day of the 2019/2020 season — having been suspended in early October for expressing anger at the club’s management. Days later he rejoined Leopards.
Seema was appointed as Kerr’s assistant at Leopards in late December‚ after the coach had started with one win from five matches. Seema said in audio supplied by Lidoda Duvha on the PSL media WhatsApp group on Tuesday that he wished Kerr well.
“I would like to thank Black Leopards for bringing me to come and help the team. And it was very unfortunate that the coach had to go‚” the former Bloemfontein Celtic and Chippa coach said.
“I think we worked well with him and I wish him all the best in future endeavours.”
Since Leopards beat Orlando Pirates 2-0 at Thohoyandou Stadium on January 17, they have lost two games by convincing margins at home‚ 2-0 to Cape Town City and 3-0 against Chippa United on Saturday.
The first assignment for Seema and his fellow technical staff is a tough one against log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns at Thohoyandou Stadium on Wednesday.
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