Defending champions Township Rollers have sacked uninspiring Czech Republican, Tomas Trucha and instantly replaced him with Frank Nuttall. The arrival of a new gaffer was announced this week but the Scottish agreed to sign a six month contract because Rollers felt ‘ he is too expensive to purchase.’
WeekendSport moles are adamant that Rollers were desperate to hire a coach who could easily coax a winning combination. Having experienced a bad start under Trucha, Rollers management feared that the club would lose out on major silverware this season.
When approaching Nuttall, Rollers were not sure of his market prize. The team was rather shocked to realize that Nuttall’s value was more than what they anticipated.Sources claim that Nuttall was first given P80 000 offer but he out- rightly rejected it. He however gave Rollers management a ‘take it or leave it’ proposition only to be contacted a week later that he will receive what he wanted. The Scot is believed to be earning around P 150 000 per month and it is why he signed a short deal.
The two agreed to a 6 month contract because Rollers still believe his worth is too high. However, the recruitment panel was convinced that the gaffer had to be adequately satisfied at the negotiating table for him to bring optimal results in the field of play. Rollers want him to win the league and also clinch the Mascom Top 8 Cup. A review is set to be made at the end of the season to determine his future. It is said Rollers want to play champions league football, and by all means possible, Nuttall has the experience to walk them through the champions’ league storm. Nuttall is by far the most experienced foreign coach of the African game to be hired by the Rollers. This discovery now means that finances have, once again, played a critical part in the thinking of Rollers management.
However, observers do not necessarily doubt the ability of Rollers to pay a foreign coach such a huge salary, but cast aspersions over the deliverables set for him. There is a feeling that his salary far exceeds the set targets, which are arguably within easy reach for a coach of his caliber. Rollers ran helter-skelter before settling for Nuttall. The club first contacted former coach Nikola Kavazovic but he rejected them without giving specific reasons. They then knocked at Peter Butler’s door who also refused to join them. Butler who is the former head coach of The Senior National Team, The Zebras, said he is no longer interested in club football. But he could not miss the opportunity to express misgivings and uncertainties about Botswana football.
Butler said the game has taken many steps backwards and no one is interested in coaching in the country. He however referred Rollers to Nuttall who also made his expectations clear. According to Nuttall’s coaching resume, he first started as an apprentice at Celtic in his playing days, released in 1987 and found himself without club. He decided to study Physical Education at Cardiff Metropolitan University and went to Loughborough University to get a Master's degree in Sports Science. At age 24, he made and started in his career by doing coach education for the Welsh FA and working with their Under-14 and Under-15 sides.
In 1998, he became a fitness coach for West Bromwich Albion F.C. However, he could not return as a player, so he decided to pursue a more propitious managing career by getting an ‘A’ License and Pro License. Rangers F.C appointed him as fitness coach in 2004. He was part of their backroom staff when they won the league 2004-05. Later, he was Assistant Manager of Al-Nasr Dubai SC but he was unable to settle in his new job and his family could not come so he left after a period of time. Soon after, he did some scouting for Middlesbrough and joined their backroom staff as fitness coach in 2008. Some years later, he worked in China as a coach for the national team and clubs there. Looking for a club in 2014, he eventually joined Gor Mahia, champions of the Kenyan Premier League and this was the first time for him to serve as head coach. Under his stewardship, he led the K'Ogalo to an unbeaten league title in 2015, an achievement never done before in the competition since 1976. Adding to this, the Scot guided them to KPL Top 8 and Kenyan Super League titles in 2015, besides winning the league in 2014 and 2015. As a result of his efforts, the former Rangers fitness coach was named 2015 SportPesa Coach of the Year.
When he was with Gor Mahia, he rebutted rumors that he was intent on leaving Kenya’s most profitable club in late 2015. However, he had a poor relationship with the Gor Mahia President and the board, the deterioration in the relationship started when the President requested that his (Nuttall) salary be reduced by 50% but could not reconcile him to accept it. Owing to fan pressure, he was again appointed as Manager albeit temporarily but they went five games without a triumph under him at the start of 2016.
Over a salary dispute with the Gor Mahia board, he was officially fired from the club in early 2016. A few days later, he was offered a three-room apartment in Nairobi from the club but declined, saying that they were 'substandard’. After a tumultuous one-month period as assistant coach for Zamalek he was sacked by the club in May 2016 and has expressed regret over his premature dismissal.
Following the end of his contract as assistant coach of Zamalek, Nuttall joined Ghanaian outfit, Accra Hearts of Oak in 2017.He has attended the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations to scout for potential players.
The Manchester United defender will now focus on his club career having made 93 caps for France, appearing at three world cups and on European championship. The Les Bleus won the World cup in 2018 and Raphael Varane started all but one of France’s matches in Qatar as they finished as runners up to Argentina
With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.