New Stars coach Okumbi ‘equal to task’

New Stars coach Stanley Okumbi has said he is equal to the task..

Sunday February 21 2016

New Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi gives instructions from the touchline during a Kenya Premier League match on October 4, 2014. The former Mathare United coach has said he is equal to the task as Harambee Stars coach. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

New Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi gives instructions from the touchline during a Kenya Premier League match on October 4, 2014. The former Mathare United coach has said he is equal to the task as Harambee Stars coach. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ISAAC SWILA
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Former Mathare United coach Stanley Okumbi has said he is equal to the task as Harambee Stars coach.

Okumbi was on Saturday unveiled as head coach of the national football team in a technical bench that also includes former Kenyan international Musa Otieno and Gor Mahia assistant coach Frank Ouna.

Okumbi said he was equal to the task ahead despite his short experience in coaching.

“The most important thing is proper participation and the office has assured us of that support,” Okumbi, who holds Caf ‘A’ and ‘B’ coaching licences, said on Saturday.

Otieno served under Scot Bobby Williamson, whom Okumbi has replaced, while Ouna makes his debut at the Stars dug out.

Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa was at pains to justify the selection of the soft-spoken Okumbi.

“You will never agree with some of these things but we are an association which explains what we are doing.

EXPENSIVE CONTRACT

We are not replacing Williamson but we’ve asked him to step aside as we look into his contract.

“My view is that it (Williamson’s contract) is expensive. He is owed Sh30 million and it’s something we have met and talked about and we will still be holding discussions with him on how to pay his debt,” Mwendwa said.

“There is no need of us having a contract which in the long run we can’t honour.”

Although Mwendwa fell short of announcing Williamson’s sacking, the fact that Okumbi has been handed a three-year contract seals the Scot’s fate.

Okumbi’s unexpected rise to the helm of Stars technical bench has raised eyebrows, given that he quit as coach of Mathare United when the strains of the job started taking toll on him.

Midway through last term, the soft-spoken Okumbi said that he was resigning from Mathare “because my players are sabotaging me”.

He stayed on after the intervention of club boss, Bob Munro, but quit at the end of last term.

At Mathare, Okumbi failed to assert his authority among his renegade players. He also lacks requisite experience to manage the national team football.

During his short coaching career, he has cut the image of a development coach.

Questions abound as to whether he can be trusted to deliver results with Harambee Stars in an intimidating atmosphere in west or north Africa during crucial assignments.

MWENDWA LINK

Okumbi, who has also coached Kariobangi Sharks, nonetheless faces a tougher job with the national team where he will deal with star players with big egos and it remains to be seen whether he  will succeed.

At the same time, Mwendwa dispelled the notion that he had handed Okumbi the job as a reward for having worked for him at as coach of Kariobangi Sharks, a club owned by Mwendwa.

“I was told that people won’t listen to me, but I got elected and today I believe they (star players) will listen to him (Okumbi). I’ve talked to Victor (Wanyama) and Arnold (Origi) and they’re all rearing to go,” Mwendwa said.

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