The Sofapaka coach believes the new Harambee Stars trainer can only be successful if he receives enough support from the federation
Former Kenya international and Sofapaka assistant coach John Baraza believes new Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi is capable of leading the team well.
Kimanzi is set to be unveiled as Kenya’s coach following an agreement between coach Sebastien Migne and Football Kenyan Federation (FKF) to terminate their association.
Kimanzi served as Migne’s assistant and has now succeeded him, and Baraza agrees with the FKF’s choice to pick the local tactician.
“Kimanzi is a man who can handle the team as he has both experience and enough qualifications,” Baraza told Goal.
“I am gauging him [Kimanzi] from the point of once being his player and I have also watched his teams play.
“There is an element of a big man with huge technical knowledge of the game which, with time and patience, can push Harambee Stars to another level.”
Baraza has, however, urged the football governing body in the country to give Kimanzi enough support.
“The FKF has decided that it is him to guide our team, let them assure support like they always accord foreign coaches,” Baraza continued.
“It is this support only which Kimanzi needs and I hope everyone will see the coach perform.”
Although this is Kimanzi’s third spell at the helm of Harambee Stars, Baraza hopes this time around the former Sofapaka, Tusker and Mathare United head coach will succeed, compared to his previous stints in 2008-2009 and 2011- 2012.
“He can surely push the team to a very high level than we have witnessed before,” Baraza explained.
“The fracas then at KFF may have contributed to underperformance by Kimanzi. But there is a different aspect of [FKF president] Nick Mwendwa’s leadership; he tends to give coaches time to settle and plan.”
Baraza pointed out the examples of Stanely Okumbi, who managed the team from February 2016 to November 2017, and Migne, who served from May 2018 to August 2019, saying Kimanzi also would need enough time.
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“Okumbi and Migne enjoyed relative longer stay at the helm of Harambee Stars and this is what is needed by any coach in order to build a team of his liking,” Baraza concluded.
Baraza played under Kimanzi at Sofapaka.