Mathare United have this morning appointed Francis Kimanzi as the team’s head coach, in place of Stanley Okumbi who resigned at the end of last season. His assistant will be Salim Ali.
Kimanzi, one time Harambee Stars coach, returns to a side he led to league glory in 2008, at a time when Salim was also his assistant. Both are considered legends for the ‘slum boys’ having won the 1998 Moi Golden cup as players, Kimanzi captaining the team.
Mathare chairman Bob Munro has expressed optimism that the duo will restore the club’s lost glory, insisting their history is not the sole reason they got appointments. Said Munro, “We have not hired them because of the history they have with Mathare, but the future they hold for Mathare. We have asked them to commit for three years and within those three years, other teams should be prepared to fight for number two. I am confident in their abilities and I trust they will take the team back to the top.”
Kimanzi has on his part played down the excitement coming with the appointment, saying “There is nothing exciting because in our job as coaches, we are like pastoralists. When one job ends, we always look for another. But I think it is easier working in an environment you have been used to, somewhere where you started because at least you have an idea of how things work But pressure is always there.”
Kimanzi, who was until last season head coach at Tusker FC, hopes that together with Salim, who has been a pundit on Supersport, they can build on last season’s ninth place finish to return Mathare among KPL elite clubs.