NAIROBI, Kenya, August 5 – Gor Mahia head coach Bobby Williamson is the new Harambee Stars boss, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss, Sam Nyamweya, announced Tuesday as the coaching musical chairs under his second spell in charge of the country’s game reached six since 2011.
Retired former captain and defensive rock, Musa Otieno, who returned to the country from South Africa where he played most of his career for Sanlam Santos, will be his assistant with his former teammate and retired midfield lynchpin, Simeone Mulama, appointed as Team Manager.
The trio replace Belgian Adel Amrouche, assistant James Nandwa and Technical Director, Jacob Mulee, who were shown the door on Sunday moments after Stars were knocked out of the 2015 Afcon by Lesotho 1-0 on aggregate after being forced to a 0-0 draw at home in the second round of qualifiers.
According to Nyamweya, FKF and Gor Mahia have reached agreement for the Scotsman to continue managing the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions as well as the national team.
“I have talked to the management of Gor and they have no objection but they have requested to allow him to take the team to Rwanda for Cecafa as they seek for a new coach. We cannot leave a vacuum as a federation we have done our best, Amrouche did a good job we valued him but he must be replaced and we are going to make other radical changes,” the federation boss stated.
He added: “We have 2016 Chan, Olympics and 2017 Afcon qualifiers and for that reason we have made necessary decisions to continue with our pursuit in the remaining two years. The resolution of FKF is that we have appointed a workable team on the technical bench.”
Speaking exclusively to Capital Sport on Tuesday morning, hours before his appointment was confirmed, Williamson said it would be an honour and privilege to manage Stars but urged Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to approach his club if they need his services.
“I’m still a Gor coach and I will be travelling with the team to Cecafa. It will be an honour and privilege to manage a country but as of now I’m still committed in Gor.
“I’m not focused on anything else apart from Gor, it’s up to the federation to approach my club and ask permission if they want to speak to me and we will take it from there but for now I’m focusing on what I’m doing in Gor,” Williamson told.
The Scotsman who managed Cranes for five year’s was sacked early last year after failing to guide the team to 2013 Afcon in South Africa before coming to Gor and leading them to their first Kenyan Premier League title in 18 years.
Williamson added Kenya should focus on developing the game from a youth if they are to revive past glory.
“Amrouche should be very disappointed because he was on a mission but did not achieve what he had set but that’s football unfortunately. Maybe its time Kenya go a step back and have a look at younger players and move on from there,” the 52-year-old coach advised.
Commenting on FKF’s move of disbanding the team and sacking the entire technical bench, he said, “The federation calls on the shot I’m not here to criticize them, my work is focused on Gor.”
Since Nyamweya took over the sole running of the country’s football in late 2011, Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno, Francis Kimanzi, Henri Michel, Nandwa (interim) and Amrouche have occupied the manegerial hot seat.
The FKF boss however, said Williamson and his team would be given time to turn around the fortunes of the country.
“We are not in a hurry we want to start from scratch we have two years to rebuild and we have instructed the incoming technical bench to come up with a youth team
“We will give them the necessary support Williamson has a good record he was with the Ugandan team for five years and Musa brings in experience in the team having played and also managed the team,” he underscored.
Reacting on social media as soon as the news broke, many termed the move as treating symptoms instead of curing the chronic disease of failure affecting Kenya’s football.
“Even if they appoint #LvG (Louis Van Gaal) with #Nyamweya at the helm, we’ll win nothing!” Sportica.co.ke posted on Twitter.
“That’s cat and rat game, it’s the same story,” Alfred Njite posted on Capital FM’s Facebook wall with Vincent Musyoka adding, “Nyamweya should leave as well.”