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Kimanzi to be unveiled as Stars head coach with ‘Zico’ as his assistant

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 00:00 |
Francis Kimanzi gestures during Harambee Stars training at Kasarani on July 24 ahead of their CHAN qualifier against Tanzania. Photo/RODGERS NDEGWA

Former Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi is set to be unveiled by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) as the national team head coach, replacing Frenchman Sebastien Migne who was shown the door on Monday after a spate of poor results.

Kimanzi, who has been Stars’ assistant coach under the tutelage of Migne, will be deputised by Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno, who also boasts vast experience with the national team, having once been the head coach.

This was confirmed yesterday, by a senior FKF official, who sought anonymity, after the federation’s executive committee held a series of meetings to handle Migne’s contract termination and swiftly appoint his successors, to ensure continuity in the national team.

“Both Kimanzi and Zico will in the meantime come in, in interim capacity then after the federation elections, they can be handed long term contracts,” the source told PeopleSport.

FKF president Nick Mwendwa did not confirm or deny, but assured PeopleSport that Stars will have a new coach by Friday.

Kimanzi, who has been in charge of the national under 23 side that unsuccessfully took part in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifiers, was incorporated in the senior team last year, to act as an understudy of Migne and his resent abrupt resignation as Mathare United coach could have been an indication that he had the top Stars job in his sights.

The 43-year-old will be having his third stint as Stars head coach, the first time being in 2008 when he was in charge for 262 days, winning three matches, drawing one and losing two in his six matches in charge. His second stint in charge was not very rosy, being appointed as Zico’s successor on November 1, 2011 he was in charge for 231 days in which he won only a single match, drew one and lost four before being dismissed.

Kimanzi’s first assignment  will be an acid test qualifier away to multiple Africa champions Egypt between November 7 and 11 in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group G qualifier. From Cairo, Kimanzi will again lead Stars to another tricky continental assignment, this time in Lome against hosts Togo then end the year with participation in the Council of East and Central Africa Football Association (CECAFA) Senior Challenge competition.

Zico, who is currently in charge of Kenyan Premier League side KCB, is set to, in the meantime, multi task and juggle between the national team and club assignments.

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