New Frenchman has his plate full as he plots to rekindle the lost glory of a Kenya national team that is nearly at it's death bed and needs resuscitationIt is now official. The worst kept secret has come to the fore. Henri Michel is the new coach of the Kenyan National soccer team, Harambee Stars.
The Frenchman takes over a seemingly hot seat that has over the years witnessed a high turnover of tacticians, either due to poor performance, wrangling or a combination of both.
But with the pomp and color that marked his arrival expected to extinguish by sunset, and the real task of steering the murky ship begin in earnest, the experienced coach should better be warned that he will be traversing through perhaps on of his most challenging ventures in his expansive coaching careers.
The widely traveled coach ,being a Francophone speaker will only be able to communicate with the press and his players through a translator ,but his immediate boss FKF chairman Sam Nyamweya believes it is no challenge to him, because after all the football language is universal.
Michel’s plate is already full and he must roll his sleeves, tighten his belt and get down to the work. His first task would be to guide the team to the regional Cecafa senior challenge cup scheduled for late November and December in Kampala, Uganda.
After this, he must plot on resuscitating Stars’ wavering World Cup campaign on track in March 2013 when he leads his charges against Super Eagles of Nigeria in an away tie.
Just as his boss, Nyamweya said, “The unveiling of Michel is a milestone of soccer in the country. We belief he will quench the thirst of football loving Kenyans.’’
Michel has a lot on his shoulder. He will have to begin by putting up non-existent structures together with his three deputies. It is these structures that the blue eyed coach will rely on to tap and nurture a reservoir of top talents from where he will be able to choose able players.
Besides steering the national soccer team, Michel’s other assignments includes overseeing the building of the national under 17, under 20 under 23 and as well as acting as a special advisor to the Kenya Premier League, the country’s top flight soccer.
But the good Frenchman will however, face a tough task in appeasing the egos of a football mad nation, but which for long has been starved of the entertaining soccer, owing to lack of structures, dismal performances of the team and the endless infightings.
Apart from the overseeing football growth, Michel will be an advisor to the Kenyan premier league, the country’s top flight soccer.
But even as the federation gave him the approval card, after anointing him to be the ‘special one’ amongst the 80 applicants, Michel is under no illusions of the challenge facing him.
”The task is going to be very difficult because we did not start well in the World Cup competitions, but I am confident that with the support of all we can succeed,” he said.
“I know in my work I must deliver results, and I am interested in taking Kenya’s football to the top of African.”