Football Football

Kimanzi, ‘Meru move is not a ruse’


KEVIN-KIMANINAIROBI, Kenya, February 12 – Tusker FC head coach, Francis Kimanzi, says plans to relocate to Kinoru Stadium in Meru County are aimed at gaining supporters from the vast region as opposed to taking undue advantage of rivals in their bid to reclaim the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title starting this weekend.

The former Harambee Stars tactician was speaking on Wednesday at their training ground in Ruaraka while unveiling 11 new signings, saying his main objective is to reclaim the title they last lifted in 2012.

“Football is entertainment and that’s what we want to bring to the people in Meru, we have to make sure we decentralize it not to put everything in Nairobi.

“I’m privileged to be the head coach of a team that has been successful in the league after winning it more than a decade,” Kimanzi who joined the 2011/12 champions in the close season said.

“I’m challenged this year that I have to continue the winning philosophy and it’s not an easy task since other teams are equal prepared for the new season,” he added on the prospects of winning his first KPL crown since 2008 when he lifted the crown with Mathare United.

Kimanzi dipped into the market for players he’s had previous experience as he bids to return the Brewers to the top of the KPL pile.

“We have extra quality players but it’s up to me and the technical bench to make sure we get a team out of them since we have the depth.

“The players are technically and mentally prepared and they are motivated after their switch to a big club like Tusker which is a major step for any local player. I hate it when people say I have gone back for my players since other coaches have been chasing for them too, Osborne Monday was a Mathare player but on loan from Sofapaka,” he responded to claims he exercised favourtism in recruitment.

“Every team is looking for the best players but what is important is getting the right ones that play with their hearts and mind. I tried to recruit players who have the vision to recognize situations and that is the intelligence many players lack.”

Club chairman James Musyoki, confirmed they will head to Meru in two weeks time after renovations in Kinoru Stadium are completed.

“We have a lot of fans from the region and we thought it’s good to partner with them and develop football in the area,” the chairman stated.

The Brewers have brought on board seasoned players including Stars defender Jockins Atudo, midfielder Osborne Monday and Bob Mugalia from Sofapaka, Mathare duo Dennis Nzomo and defender Lloyd Wahome, forward Clifford Alwanga and midfielder Brian Osumba from KCB and 2012 KPL player of the year Kevin Kimani.

Other players who joined are Duncan Wafula (Busia United) and Rodgers Omondi and keeper Farouk Shikalo from Nationwide side Talanta.

Monday said he is happy to reunite with Kimanzi after working under him at Mathare and Batoto Ba Mungu.

“I’m at home since working under Kimanzi is easy and I like his coaching philosophy which can enable a player compete any where around the world.

“I’m looking forward to have a good season.”

The 2011 and 12 champions open their campaign on Sunday against Thika United at Nairobi’s City Stadium.