NAIROBI, Kenya, March 27 – Former Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Ulinzi Stars have appointed Robert Matano as the new head coach to replace Salim Ali, while Benjamin Nyangweso who led them to their last title in 2010 returns as the assistant.
Former Harambee Stars number one keeper and captain, Francis Onyiso, who was appointed as care taker coach last Thursday after the abrupt resignation of Salim reverts to his former position as goalkeeper trainer in a busy day at the Lanet Barracks based side.
Confirming the change of guard at the military side to Capital Sport, club CEO Capt Joe Birgen, said they decided to bring in an experienced technical bench to command the troops to salvage a season they are yet to fire into a win after drawing five and losing one.
“Pressure from our fans has forced use to make immediate change in out technical bench and that’s why we went for experience. We are pleased to have him on board since he has the qualities including maintaining a high standard of discipline which is our priority as a military side.
“I can confirm that Matano will be at the touchline during our match on Saturday against Thika United and we are sure he will use his experience to enable us reclaim the title.
“Its in good faith that we decided to let our very own Onyiso who was serving in acting capacity to continue with his role as the keeper trainer which he is best at and we congratulate him for leading the team well at our last match against Tusker although we lost,” the CEO who also serves as club’s Officer-in-Charge told.
Matano who led Tusker to their 10th title in 2012 before he was shown the door at the end of last season after failing to reclaim the trophy revealed to Capital Sport that it’s an honor for him to be the coach of the four time champions.
“I’m very happy to be back in the football scene and this time round coaching a big club like Ulinzi Stars. We have finalized every thing and my first duty is to meet with the players and plan for Saturday’s match against Thika United.
“I have big plans for the club and as you know every club that I have had full stint at I have never disappointed them so I’m hoping to repeat the same in Ulinzi. They will pick up it’s only that people don’t understand that every club has its downs and ups so we will pick up very soon since I’m dealing with the champions who have also won Top-Eight,” Matano who was recently reported appointed as AFC Leopards technical director confirmed.
Onyiso has been in charge of the Kenya Defence Force (KDF) side for the past six days and his first test against Tusker was not pleasant as they went down 2-1 to the league leaders.
This will be the fourth KPL club for the no-nonsense coach to lead after winning his first silverware with Sofapaka in 2009.
Matano’s first competitive assignment is a home tie against fifth placed Thika United on Sunday.