Francis Kimanzi explains reasons behind his success as Harambee Stars coach in 2008

Photo Credit: FKF

FOOTBALL Francis Kimanzi explains reasons behind his success as Harambee Stars coach in 2008

Mark Kinyanjui 07:10 - 22.06.2023

Kimanzi famously led Kenya to its highest ever ranking of 68 in 2008.

Former Harambee Stars head coach Francis Kimanzi has explained why Kenya was successful under his management in 2008 when the side was ranked a record 68th place by FIFA.

Kimanzi, who had three separate stints as head coach in 2008, 2013, and 2019, oversaw brilliant results as the head coach that year, while also doubling up as Mathare United head coach, the side he led to the KPL title that same year.

The former Tusker and Wazito FC head coach has explained the reasons why that side was successful.

“We did a good job and I also had good backroom staff, the likes of Yusuf Chipo and James Nandwa and we worked very well and tirelessly,” Kimanzi told Radul Live.

“Sometimes, I invited them to Mathare United when we were testing some things there and together, we worked for the national team. Back then, the FIFA calendar was back to back, so we had players for ten days which played a huge role in our success that year.

“ After five days, we had a match and then another by game 10. That was when CAF and FIFA were implementing that.”

The 47-year-old tactician also believes that the quality of the options across several positions of the pitch depth-wise was convenient enough for the side to get consistent results.

“We also had quality players in terms of team balance, lines, and positions, which reduced the balance with team building. So, our part was just about fixing a few things. I believe the generation of footballers then was good.”

Kimanzi also stresses that the then football governing body Football Kenya Limited allowed him a friendly environment to make the decisions he felt were right for the team. He stressed that keen attention was paid to player welfare as well, which allowed the players to give 100 percent.

“The way things were run in 2008 was good because players trusted the environment they were working in because if the players trust the management and how they are cared for in terms of things like payment of allowances and preparation before the matches. We are talking about trust and respect here.

“That time, there was minimal interference. Players were respected and given the opportunity to compete and players felt respected and cared for. When players feel that, they can give 100 percent which is not the case anymore.”

Kimanzi also spoke candidly about believing he has the ability to still be competitive and has been working on expanding his knowledge of the game since being sacked by Wazito FC in January 2022.