NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 14 – Harambee Stars head coach Francis Kimanzi has opened up on his relationship with his predecessor Sebastien Migne who he deputized during his stint as the national team boss until his departure last August.
Kimanzi, admitting they had constructive differences with the Frenchman however says he had a good time, learning from a new school of thought as well as picking lessons from the organization towards last year’s Africa Cup of Nations.
“This was my first time being a deputy coach because all the clubs I have been before I was the head coach. Sometimes you also want to be behind and learn from somebody else and see if you can gain some experience and also do a self-scan,” Kimanzi says.
“I was happy assisting Sebastien as I was learning and trying to figure out different ways of working and also learning on how I make crucial decisions and him as well and the way he handles things. It was quite an important moment for me,”
“But it was not easy because also when you have a lot of experience also as a head coach, there is always that fight on decisions and thoughts but it’s always a positive fight,” Kimanzi explained.
The experienced tactician under who Kenya achieved its highest ever FIFA ranking was appointed to be Migne’s local assistant after the Frenchman’s appointment and was also tasked with coaching the junior teams.
And when the Congo Brazzaville coach finally left the role, Kimanzi was elevated to be the head coach.
He picks out the experience of preparing and competing at the 2019 AFCON as one he will cherich and learnt a lot from.
“It is a big experience for any coach. Not only the tournament but the preparation itself, the intensity, the planning… What I learnt is preparing for long term and player management as well as the entire technical team. It is very important,” he says.
Kimanzi is meanwhile hoping to lead the team to a second consecutive AFCON experience. The AFCON originally set for next January has now been pushed to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The qualifiers are also set to be rescheduled.
Kenya had picked back to back draws against Togo and Egypt in the opening two matches.
As Kimanzi waits on the new dates to be fixed, he is trying to keep up with his players and thankfully with some European leagues resuming, his squad will get valuable match fitness.