Mwendwa’s big bet on ‘Ghost’ takes charge of Stars
National football team Harambee Stars returnee coach Jacob “Ghost’’ Mulee is a man on a mission.
Mulee, who guided Stars to the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Tunisia, is desirous to have the team revisit the biannual showcase to be held in Cameroon in 2022.
“Qualifying to Cameroon is my short term plan. It’s a difficult task but it’s possible for a good measure,’’ said Mulee yesterday after being unveiled by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) as Stars Head Coach to replace Francis Kimanzi.
FKF President Nick Mwendwa said Mulee will serve a three-year contract, which is renewable depending on performance.
The renowned tactician, who has had stints with three club sides including Tusker, Rwanda Patriotic Army and Young Africans (Yanga) of Tanzania, said he won’t promise anything and that his performance will speak for itself.
“I won’t promise anything at this point in time but if the team can conjure up wins in the Afcon qualifier it will be ideal to give players confidence going forward. I feel honoured to coach the team again” he said.
Mulee’s immediate task is leading the team to the Afcon 2022 qualifying first round match against Comoros on November 11 ahead of the reverse fixture on November 15.
Following later in March will be the return match against Togo in Lome and the reverse tie against Egypt, which will be played under floodlights at Moi International Sports Centre (MISC) in Kasarani.
There will be no time to rest for Stars as the team will be engaged in the World Cup qualifier where its drawn against Uganda, Mali and Rwanda.
In the 2004 Afcon, Stars, under the tutelage of Mulee, lost their first two preliminary matches by identical 3-0 to Mali and Senegal before recovering to beat Burkina Faso by the same score line.
During the unveiling ceremony of the coach, Mwendwa said the federation deemed it fit to hand the coaching job to a person who had achieved much locally.
“We were looking for an experienced coach and Mulee fitted the bill. He has won the league title and Cecafa besides taking the national team to AFCON.
The fact that he has been an instructor at FKF was added boon in his appointment,” said Mwendwa.
Mwendwa, who was re-elected as FKF president in the national elections last week, failed to be drawn into the discussions of full details on why Kimanzi left, saying it will be a forum for another day.
“He (Kimanzi) left on mutual consent and let the matter rest at that. We shall discuss that later,” said Mwendwa.
Back on national team issues, Mwendwa said the appointment marks a new beginning in the federation’s quest to ensure that the team competes effectively with the elite in the continent.
“We have confidence in Mulee and the federation will give the coach the best cooperation.”
Mwendwa said Mulee had a free hand in picking his preferred technical team and since he previously loved working with Twahir Muhidin, the former Bandari tactician will most likely be in line to be part of the new technical bench.