Williamson replaced as Harambee Stars coach

By alex wafula
Feb 20, 2021
  • Bobby Williamson fired by new FKF leadership and replaced by Stanley Okumbi.

  • The new Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi.(Photo:SNA File)

  • Thika United players celebrate their equalizer against Ushuru. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Arbitrary appointments which punctuated the tenure of Sam Nyamweya as president of the Football Federation of Kenya appear to have been inherited by his successor Nick Mwendwa.

Less than two weeks after taking over from Nyamweya, Mwendwa hit the ground running by cleaning the Harambee Stars technical bench relieving Bobby Williamson of his coaching duties. 

Also axed in the new changes is one of the assistants, Sofapaka coach David Ouma. In Williamson’s place, the new office has brought in former Mathare United coach Stanley Okumbi as the first coach while Musa Otieno retains his post as an assistant.

Gor Mahia deputy Frank Ouna will be the team’s second assistant and double up as team manager. 

Mwendwa's campaign had promised to clean out the mess at FKF but seems to have began on the wrong foot because, like his predecessor, the posts were not advertised. Proper procedure remains the marks of a good administration and it is not clear whether Okumbi's appointment is on an interim basis. 

“We are going to restructure our style of play. We trust in ourselves as the technical bench and our players, they have the ability and we know they can deliver. We have professional players who play in top leagues across the world.

I believe with my technical bench, we will be able to come up with a winning team and a winning mentality,” Okumbi said as he was unveiled by Mwendwa and his team.

The office has introduced four new positions, that of video analyst, nutritionist, performance specialist and logistics specialist. Michael Igendia has been appointed as the new performance specialist while Michael Kamure will be the logistics specialist.

FKF will shop for a nutritionist and a video analyst. Igendia, a Kenyan-Finnish holds a Masters degree in sports sciences with a major in sports coaching and fitness testing from Jyaskyla University in Finland.

“Our plan is to work with friendly federations to develop a technical master-plan that builds local capacity to the grass-root level and give a unique philosophy to the Kenyan game. Stanley is one of the highly rated local coaches and it is our intention to deepen our reservoir of technical talent” Mwendwa said as he unveiled the new look bench on Saturday.

Unpaid salaries

According to a quick audit done by the new office, Williamson is owed approximately Sh30million in unpaid salaries, this being part of a larger Sh172million debt the federation has.

Mwendwa said they would work to clear those debts as they seek to take Kenyan football back to the top.

At the same time, Mwendwa disclosed that the federation has opened talks with the Kenyan Premier League on expanding the top flight league to 18 teams from the current 16.

This was one of the issues that bore loads of acrimony between FKF and KPL last season. The new office has at the same time released the new league structures which will see the second tier league renamed the National Super League and will include 20 teams.

The third tier, the Division One will be split in two zones while the county and zonal leagues will be managed by the branches. The NSL and the Division one will be managed by a new company, the Nationwide League Limited.

Elsewhere, Ulinzi Stars went top of the SportPesa-sponsored Kenya Premier League table after match day two, with a 2-0 win over Tusker FC at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

Second half goals from John Mark Makwatta and new signing Joseph Kuria gifted the military side with their first three points of the season, building up from their opening day point against Sony Sugar.

After a dull first half where neither side had a shot on target, Ulinzi came back a better side in the second half and threatened from the first whistle. New signing Cliff Kasuti who started  after impressing as a substitute against Sony had a chance in the 68th minute, but his shot hit the side netting.

Four minutes later, Ulinzi were leading. Mark Bikokwa was fouled at the edge of the box and Makwatta took the resultant freekick, curling it into the top left of Ochieng’s goal.

Bikokwa had a chance to crown his day with a goal in the 77th minute, but Ochieng managed to stretch out and pick the ball off the former Nzoia man after being set through by John Nairuka.

Ndolo header off target

Tusker came close to with five minutes left but Ndolo’s header from a Danson Kago corner was  inches off the target. 

Ulinzi put the game to bed with three minutes left, another beautiful build up play from Robert Matano’s men finding Kuria, the former Thika man shooting low into the net with his weaker left foot.

At the Muhoroni Complex, Wycliffe Ochomo scored the lone goal as hosts Muhoroni Youth beat Sofapaka 1-0. It is a huge goal for Ochomo, especially coming in a week where he is expected to present himself to the KPL headquarters to respond to a summon of indecent behavior.

At the Nyayo National Stadium, Kennedy Otieno scored late as Thika United fought to a one-all draw with hosts Ushuru FC. Otieno headed in from a Timothy Ludda cross in added time, cancelling out Dennis Wafula’s early goal.

Saturday results: Ushuru FC 1 Thika United 1(Nyayo National Stadium), Tusker FC 0 Ulinzi Stars FC 2 (Kenyatta Stadium Machakos), Muhoroni Youth 1 Sofapaka FC 0 (Muhoroni Complex); Sunday fixtures: Mathare United v Chemelil Sugar, Posta Rangers v Gor Mahia (Nyayo National Stadium), Western Stima v Nairobi City Stars (Moi Stadium, Kisumu), Bandari FC v Kakamega Homeboyz (Mbaraki Stadium, Mombasa); Monday: Sony Sugar v AFC Leopards (Awendo Stadium).