Friday, 17 August 2012

Former France Coach tops the list of those shortlisted to Coach Kenya

Former French head coach Raymond Domenech reacts during the Euro 2008 Group C football match against Romania in Zurich, Switzerland, June 9, 2008. (Xinhua/Guo Yong)
By John Kwoba
Former France head coach Raymond Domenech holds high rating among the final four short-listed candidates to take over the job at the Kenya soccer national team.

Domenech, whose last posting was with France national team at the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, has to compete with compatriot Henri Michel, formerly head coach of Cote d'Ivoire and Belgians Adel Amrouche and Tom Saintfeit for the post. Football Federation of Kenya (FKF) chairman Sam Nyamweya said they intend to fill the vacant post by October as the country seeks to reclaim its lost glory in the sport. Of importance, however, is that all the four candidates are fluent speakers of English.

Domenech was first shortlisted among the final 10 finalists late July for the post. Over 60 had made their application before it was cut down to 10.They were Ratomir Djukovic (Serbia), Luc Eyamel (Belgium), Adel Amrouche-(Belgium), Claude Leroy (France), Otto Pfister (German), Tom Saintfiet (Belgium), Miodrag Dujkovic (Serbia), Henri Michel (France), Raymond Domenech (France), Kikovic Milenko (Serbia). "The main focus will be on building on sound structures and frameworks that will help develop football in Kenya. Management of Harambee Stars will be also crucial, especially in the World Cup campaign. All the 4 finalists are coaches of international stature, they have proven record and we have to pick just one," Nyamweya said on Thursday in Nairobi.

But the catch is in payment of the coach. All the four are keen to bring in their backroom staff, expecting the government to pick up their bill. The last coach to manage Kenya from abroad was Germany Antoine Hey and France's Bernard Lama.Both left after failing to get the government backing and as the decision on the final candidate is made, it will be crucial to know who else will accompany them in the assignment."Affordability will be a crucial element. We must get someone who can help restore our glory and also take us to the next level without breaking the bank. The government is ready to pay up to a one-year contract in the meantime," said Nyamweya.

Kenya's Francis Kimanzi was axed from the job after he failed to lead Kenya through to the 2013 Africa Nations Cup final in South Africa. Michel, 64, coached Frabce at the Mexico World Cup in 1986 where Les Blus finished third. He coached Cameroon in 1994, was with Morocco at the 1998 World Cup and Cote d'Ivoire in 2006 at the Africa Nations Cup in Egypt. Belgian Adel Amrouche, 44, has coached Burundi and DRC's club Motema Pembe. Tom Saintfiet also from Belgium is just 39 and guided Yanga to win the Cecafa Club Championship. He has also had a stint with Zimbabwe, Namibia and Ethiopia. Domenech, who is 60-years-old, led France to two World Cups in Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010. He was also in charge of France at the Euro 2008. He, however, has no experience with an African team.Kenya is pooled together with Namibia, Nigeria and Malawi in the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.
In another news After a failed contest pitting David Rudisha against Usain Bolt at the Olympics over the 4x400m relay, Kenyans will again have the chance to face Jamaica in a soccer friendly match in the United States.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) on Thursday confirmed that plans are complete for Harambee Stars to play Reggae Boys in Connecticut, U.S. on Aug. 25.FKF Chairman Sam Nyamweya said everything has been finalized and the Kenya team have moved to the training camp in Nairobi to start preparation for the match.However, both Kenya and Jamaica federations face a challenge of securing their elite stars to honour the fixture.This is because the friendly falls on a date not authorized by FIFA to stage international matches. This means that European clubs will not bulge at the idea of releasing their key players for the match. The FIFA designated day for friendly is Sept. 7.

Kenya's Coach James Nandwa named a 23 man squad to begin preparations for the friendly match to be played in Connecticut but doubts remain over the availability of 3 foreign based players Dennis Oliech of Auxerre in France, Arnold Origi of Norway Division One side Ullkisa and Celtic midfielder Victor Mugubi. The team started training Monday in Nairobi and will be departing for the USA on Aug. 20. Foreign based players available for the match will fly directly to America and join the team in Connecticut. (Xinhua)

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