FKF unveil Kimanzi as new Harambee Stars coach

By Standard Sports: Wednesday, August 21st 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Harambee Stars head coach Francis Kimanzi (left) and Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa [Courtesy]

Football Kenya Federation yesterday unveiled Francis Kimanzi as the new coach for the national team, Harambee Stars, on a two-year deal.

Kimanzi, who is the immediate former assistant coach, will be assisted by Zedekiah Otieno, Lawrence Webo (goalkeeper trainer) and Enos Karani (fitness coach).

“We laid a good foundation with our former coach, qualifying for Afcon for the first time in 15 years,” said Kimanzi.

“This is a continuation of the good job we did and we are looking forward to accomplishing our biggest challenge of getting the team back to Afcon 2021,” he added.

The coach’s first assignment will be a friendly match against Uganda set for September 8 in Nairobi.

Stars will play yet another friendly match against Libya, away, in October, prior to their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers against Egypt and Togo in November.

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Kimanzi, who guided Kenya to their best-ever Fifa ranking (68), staged his comeback to the helm of the national team.

Seven years since he was sacked on his second stint as the national team coach, Kimanzi now seeks to make his third stint at the helm more memorable.

When Kimanzi was sacked on June 19, 2012, he walked away with pride. He hardly smiled though, but it was evident then, that he was not yet done with the Harambee Stars.

In his absence, seven coaches have come and gone. Talents have been unveiled, while others ignored.

There have been hugs and kisses as well as tears of anguish and letdown; a cocktail of feelings in the Harambee Stars quarters.

Just how different the place has been. Over the years, Kenya slid 46 places to the current 106.

First in their in-tray will be a tricky away trip to Egypt in November (between 9 and 10) for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.

Kenya have been grouped with Egypt, Togo and Comoros in Group G of the qualifiers.

The risk of the quandary at Harambee Stars intensifying perhaps helps to illuminate the rush with which FKF settled for Sebatien Migne’s replacement. Migne’s contract was to take three years.

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