In an attempt to navigate uncertain waters, former Nigerian international Joseph Akpala has been appointed as the interim manager of Belgium’s Jupiler League side, KV Kortrijk, Soccernet.ng reports.
Akpala, well-acquainted with Belgian football from his successful spells at Club Brugge, Royale Charleroi, and KV Oostende, brings a wealth of experience to his new role.
With an impressive record of 90 goals in 286 league and playoff games in Belgium, the 36-year-old is no stranger to the challenges of the Belgian top flight. Akpala hung up his boots in 2021 after a brief stint at FC Dinamo in the Romanian second-tier.
Having previously served as an assistant to Veertien Speelers at KV Kortrijk, Akpala is familiar with the club and its dynamics.
As the team commenced training on Monday, the responsibility of guiding the squad has temporarily been entrusted to him until a permanent coach is appointed.
Alongside Jimmy and Kurt Berton, Akpala aims to provide the Kortrijk players with the support they require during this transitional period.
Uncertainty grips KV Kortrijk
As KV Kortrijk gears up for the upcoming season, an air of uncertainty hangs over the West Flemish club.
The team, currently under the ownership of wealthy Malaysian Vincent Tan, finds itself in a state of flux as Tan seeks to offload the club. Since the end of April, the absence of a head coach, chairman, and manager has left KV Kortrijk without clear leadership.
Head coach Bernd Storck, the fourth to hold the position in a year, departed in April, followed swiftly by the resignations of CEO Matthias Leterme and chairman Ronny Verhelst.
The catalyst behind these changes was Tan’s desire to sell the club, an ambition repeatedly rebuffed when English clubs Bournemouth and Burnley expressed interest in acquiring KV Kortrijk.
The void in leadership, combined with the uncertainty surrounding a potential change in ownership, has raised numerous questions among players and fans alike.
In an effort to allay concerns, interim trainer Joseph Akpala emphasizes the importance of remaining positive, stating, “We can’t afford to be negative; it won’t alter the situation.”
Akpala exudes confidence in the club’s determination to secure its future, expressing belief that decisions regarding a new owner and coach may be imminent.
Despite the unrest stemming from the potential sale, KV Kortrijk boasts a strong commercial foundation, offering hope for stability and a prosperous future.