Williamson appointed Harambee Stars coach

By nesta kizito
Aug 06, 2014
  • FKF Chairman Sam Nyamweya and the new Harambee Stars coach Bobby Williamson.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Musa Otieno.

Less than forty eight hours after the disbandment of Harambee Stars technical bench, Football Kenya Federation, FKF on Tuesday afternoon named a new team of officials who will take charge of the Kenyan national team.

Scotsman Bobby Williamson will be the man taking over from Adel Amrouche as the head coach. Until his new appointment, Williamson has been the coach of Gor Mahia Football Club. The Scottish coach will be assisted by former Kenya captain Musa Otieno while another former international midfielder Simeon Mulama comes in as the team manager.

While making the announcement, FKF chairman Sam Nyamweya said the federation settled on Williamson for his proven track record in the job at club and national team level.

“Williamson is a very experienced coach who we believe has the technical knowhow of rebuilding the team into a formidable outfit. We not in a hurry though to get the job done and Williamson will be given sufficient time identify and nurture talent in his capacity as the national team coach,” Nyamweya said.

The previous bench led by Amrouche and his two assistants James Nandwa and Ken Odhiambo was fired on Sunday evening moments after Harames Stars exited the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers after being held to a barren draw in Nairobi by Lesotho.

The Southern African nation progressed to the group stage of the qualifiers on a 1-0 aggregate win. The other members of the previous technical bench were Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee (technical director) and Iddi Salim (goalkeepers’ trainer).

Following his appointment, Williamson, who has previously held the same position with the Ugandan national team, will now have to relinquish his coaching duties at Gor Mahia.

Impressive CV

“We have talked to Gor Mahia and they have no problem although they have requested us to allow him take the team to Rwanda for the Cecafa Club Championships which begin this week,” Nyamweya said.

Nyamweya said the inclusion of Otieno and Mulama into the bench will infuse an element of youthfulness in the technical team.

The 52-year-old Glasgow born coach has an impressive CV both as a player and coach in his native Scotland and England.

He spent five successful years with the Uganda Cranes from 2008 to 2013 in his first posting as a national team coach.

During that period he transformed the Ugandan team into regional football powerhouses guiding the Cranes to four Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup titles (2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012).

In early April last year he was fired by the Federation of Uganda Football Federation (Fufa) following the team’s failure to qualify for the 213 Africa Cup of Nations finals coupled with a poor start to the 2014 Word Cup qualifiers.

He arrived at Gor Mahia three months later to replace Croatian coach Zdravko Logarusic and guided the team to its first league title in 18 years on his first season.

His new assistant Otieno is a highly respected figure in Kenyan football circles having captain Harambee Stars for a decade.

Otieno played for AFC Leopards, Tusker and South African side Sanlam Santos where he spent most of his professional career until his retirement three years ago.

Like Otieno, Mulama is a former Kenyan international who spent much of his playing career with Mathare United in the Kenyan Premier League.

Nyamweya said the incoming bench’s short term responsibility will be to prepare the national team for the 2016 African Nations Championships (Chan), the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

Their appointments take effect immediately.