Kimanzi eyes World Cup ‘dream’ as he takes over Harambee Stars’ hot seat
Newly-appointed Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi has been tasked with the unenviable responsibility of becoming the first-ever coach to lead Kenya to the Fifa World Cup.
This revelation was made on Tuesday by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa during the unveiling ceremony of Kimanzi as the new national team coach.
“His brief is to lead the team through the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification, 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers and the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup games,” said Mwendwa.
Mwendwa also called for support from the government to enable Kimanzi achieve this ambitious target.
“We have a local boy in charge and I am asking the government to support him to enable us to achieve our dream of watching this team play at the next world Cup in Qatar,” he said.
The FKF boss further confirmed that Kamanzi has penned a two-year contract and will be assisted by Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno, who doubles up as the head coach of Kenyan Premier League side KCB.
On his part, the former Mathare United coach said he hopes to do better than his predecessor Frenchman Sebastian Migne, who took Kenya to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after 14 years of waiting, only to be fired immediately after the tournament.
“We did a great job with Sebastian and the plan now is to continue and bring better results. We have to try and qualify for the Nations Cup and also aim higher,” explained the 51-year-old who deputized Migne in Egypt.
“We will have to be more professional and try to get quality players who can perform,” he added.
Kimanzi’s first assignment will be to lead the national team in two international friendly matches against Uganda and Libya in September.
After that he will get to the business end of things when he leads the team against seven-time African champions Egypt when the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers get under way in November.
New Harambee Stars technical bench:
1. Francis Kimanzi – Head coach
2. Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno – Assistant coach
3. Wycliffe Makanga – Team doctor
4. Lawrence Webo – Goalkeeper coach
5. Mike Ikedia and Enos Karani – Strength and conditioning