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Kimanzi named Tusker coach, Matano fired

FOOTBALL By - GILBERT WANDERA | November 28th 2013

BY GILBERT WANDERA

Francis Kimanzi.

Former Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi is back to club football after being appointed Tusker head coach yesterday.

Kimanzi replaces besieged Robert Matano, who failed to defend the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title with Tusker this season.

Tusker chairman James Musyoki said yestersday they have given Kimanzi a two-year contract and added they had parted ways with Matano in an amicable way.

“We had a meeting with Matano on Monday and explained to him our need to move on without him. He understands the need to part ways amicably, which is always our policy at this club,” said Musyoki.

He said they have settled on Kimanzi after being impressed by his past record and confirmed that the former Harambee Stars and Sofapaka coach was among those who were interviewed for the job.

 “There were several coaches who had shown interest in the job and we talked to all of them, but in the end we settled on Francis Kimanzi who has been given a two year contract to take us back to where we belong,” he said.

Musyoki said the new man has been given a free hand to pick his own assistant for the job.

“The modern way of management is to give the coach a free hand in picking his assistants so that it does not look like your are imposing people on him to work with,” explained Musyoki.

Kimanzi has also handled other KPL clubs like Mathare United and Sofapaka. He first coached Harambee Stars in 2008 during the 2010 World Cup qualifiers but was fired after one year.

He then took a break from football to update his skills upon which he took over at Sofapaka. He lasted just one year and was again appointed Harambee Stars head coach for less than six months before being promoted him to the position of Technical Director.

Kimanzi’s appointment was not however without controversy after Nairobi City Stars coach Jan Koops claimed he had been betrayed by Tusker in making the appointment.

“I am very surprised by the decision announced by Tusker to appoint Kimanzi as head coach. We had an agreement that I take over and had even agreed on the signing fee and salary,” he said.

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