NAIROBI, Kenya, November 2- Harambee Stars assistant coach Leonard Saleh says that the newly appointed head tactician Francis Kimanzi will add energy in Stars squad.
Kimanzi who was re-appointed to the post on Tuesday however, was not present during the day’s training since the club side he manages Sofapaka FC was scheduled to compete in a Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match against Mathare United that evening.
“He has what it takes plus the experience to lead the national team to the next level and has one of the greatest qualities,” Saleh told Capital Sport during the team’s morning training session.
“I believe he will bring on board the best for the national team for he has a bright record that can boosts confidence in the team,” he added.
Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno, who was axed by FKA in only their third day in office, was also not with the team that is preparing to face Seychelles in a 2014 World Cup pre-qualifier two-legged knockout tie.
“As a technical bench, we are ready to give way for the new team and support them in any way,” Saleh, who was also sacked by KPL side KCB three weeks ago expressed.
Speaking to Capital Sport, Otieno said he had nothing against FKA’s decision to replace him with Kimanzi as he extended his best regards to the new front man.
“The most important thing is to focus on beating Seychelles and from there, the elaborate programme to ensure the team does well in the World Cup qualifiers should be put in place,” he urged.
He added: “I’m yet to be officially informed about the decision and what plans they have for the team and that is why I did not present myself for training this morning.”
Otieno, who is also the head coach of KPL side Gor Mahia, disclosed he was waiting for the decision from the side’s management after November 15 when the leave he had been granted from the touchline ends to know his fate.
“For now, all I can do is sit and wait for the management’s position since my contract with Gor ends in two months time. I’m willing to listen to any offers they or any other team has before deciding my future.”
For the past month, his Cameroonian assistant, Anaba Awuono has been in charge, leading the team to FKL Cup glory last week that guarantees them a berth in next season’s CAF Confederation Cup.
The news of the changes in the bench was received from media outlets while the team was holding its afternoon training session with only 14 players in camp.
FKA chairman Sam Nyamweya however, said they would write official letters to the current bench informing the changes.
Kimanzi who was fired from the national team in February 2009 will be in charge for his first competitive fixture with the side Saturday week when Kenya travel to Seychelles for the first leg.
The return will be played in Nairobi three days later with the aggregate winner joining the World Cup qualifying group featuring Nigeria, Malawi and Djibouti or Namibia who will play in another pre-qualifier.
– By Gloria Kendi