Kenya pick new national football team coach

Francis Kimanzi. FILE 

Kenya's football association has relieved national team coach Zedekiah Otieno of his duties and appointed Francis Kimanzi to the role.

Kimanzi coached the team between* where the east African nation reached its best ever Fifa ranking at 69.

He was the coach of premier league side Sofapaka and will quit as club trainer at the end of the season.

Football Kenya said it had settled on Kimanzi to steer the national team during the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup and the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

He will also be in charge during the regional Cecafa Senior Challenge competition next month.
“We have settled on Kimanzi because we want to take the national team seriously. I am confident Kimanzi will deliver,” said new football boss Sam Nyamweya.
Kimanzi confirmed he had accepted the appointment and will start work immediately.

"It’s a great honour to be appointed national team coach. I am extremely happy and I can only say this will be a new beginning,” said Kimanzi.

"It is a step in the right direction and is geared towards real professionalism. I want to succeed in my new task and I have made a decision to make a swift move to my new task.

"As national team coach, I will have to be neutral and objective especially in player selection and to succeed in this, I will have to concentrate on the national team only,” he added.

Sofapaka president Elly Kalekwa who was present during the meeting with the federation welcomed Kimanzi’s appointment and said he will accord him maximum support.

Kimanzi says he will not dismantle the team as is currently constituted ahead of the tie away to Seychelles on Saturday but will make slight improvement in the squad.

Otieno coached the Harambee Stars for four Nations Cup qualifying games but fell short of qualifying for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

Nyamweya said the federation is giving Kimanzi a free hand to pick who he will be working with at the national team.

The 35-year-old Kimanzi is one of the best trained coaches in the country with certificates from the KNVB in Netherlands.

He coached Mathare United to the Kenyan Premier League title in 2008 and took Sofapaka to within a goal of qualifying to the lucrative group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup.

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