Frenchman Henri Michel takes over as Kenya Harambee Stars head coach

Michel admits Kenya's path to the 2014 World Cup is difficult but it can become reality if stakeholders involved pull in one direction

New Harambee Stars tactician Henri Michel on Tuesday admitted that Kenya’s path to the 2014 World Cup to be held in Brazil “is a difficult task that can become reality with proper preparations.”

The Frenchman who was speaking after being unveiled as the coach of the Kenyan team, confessed that Kenya had started the World Cup qualifiers on a wrong footing but “we can put things right and reach the finals if we pull in one direction.”

“The task to Brazil is a tough one because Kenya started badly. However, I have strong believe that with proper preparations and commitment from those involved, there is still hope.”

Kenya, who have already exited the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers after losing 2-3 on aggregate to Togo, did not start well in the World Cup qualifiers neither drawing 0-0 with Malawi in Nairobi before losing 1-0 away to Namibia in Windhoek.

The other team in Kenya's Group is Nigeria Super Eagles.

"Our next match in the World Cup qualifiers comes up in March so that gives me adequate time to get to know Kenyan players and understand their style of football in general. I believe with adequate preparations we can give the qualifiers a go."

Michel takes over from James Nandwa, who was picked on acting capacity after Football Kenya Federation (FKF) deployed coach Francis Kimanzi.

Michel said he wants all stakeholders, club owners, media and fans to be involved as he starts the challenge to turn around fortunes of Kenyan soccer.

FKF chairman Sam Nyamweya owned up that it was difficult to pick Michel to head the Kenya team. “Michel was in a pool of 80 coaches who wanted the job but his CV was very impressive.”

“Michel has coached in Africa and knows more about African football and that is why we gave him the opportunity to revive Kenyan football,” said Nyamweya.

Michel, whose last coaching assignment was with Equatorial Guinea, becomes Kenya’s next foreign tactician after German Antoine Hey whose reign ended in November 2009.

The coach will have two assistant coaches and arrived with Florent Motta, who was unveiled alongside Michel. Motta, a Frenchman, will be in charge of physical training.

Some of the teams Michel has handled include Morocco, Cameroon, Tunisia, Cote d Ivoire and club sides Raja Casablanca (Morrocco), Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa), Zamalek (Egypt) and  Al Ain (UAE).

He joins a select group of foreigners to have handled the team. Others include Ray Bachelor, Eckard Krautuzun, Gerry Saurer, Bernhard Zgoll, Reinhard Fabisch Bernard Lama,Vojo Gardašević and Antoine Hey.