Kenya name Turkish Firat as new Harambee Stars coach

Engin Firat 2

After the resignation of Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee, Kenya have named Turkish tactician Engin Firat as the new head coach, on a two-month contract.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss Nick Mwendwa says the Turkish coach who has previously coached Moldova will be in charge of the final four matches of Harambee Stars’ FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

“We looked at the situation we are in right now and decided we bring someone who is going to take us through these qualifiers and then after, we can look at whether we will engage them for a longer period of time or we will get someone else,” Mwendwa said as he introduced the new coach.

"I come here because I believe in the project and I believe that we can qualify for the World Cup" Engin Firat

He added; "We are confident in his abilities and we feel that we are really lucky to have him. He had other offers out there and for a top coach like him to decide to come to Kenya, it is a great honour. We are looking forward to working together and then we will see what the future holds for us.”

The Turkish coach has had several stints back at home and has also one time coached top German side Eintracht Frankfurt between 2000 and 2002. He has also been an assistant coach with Iran.

Speaking after arriving in the country, Firat said he is excited at the short term project ahead of him and remains optimistic he can deliver Kenya through the group phase of the World Cup qualifiers.

“Kenya is a good football nation with so many talented players. I come here because I believe in the project and I believe that we can qualify for the World Cup. I looked at the group and analysed it and I believe that of we work well, we can achieve something. If I didn’t believe I would not have come,” said the coach.

Engin Firat 3

“I am looking forward to working with the team. I have watched the first two games and I believe there are so many positives but still, there is some more work to be done. I believe we have a very good squad of talented players to work with,” further added.

The tactician has already swung into work with a team of local based players reporting for residential training.

His first match in charge will be the double header against Mali in the World Cup qualifiers before finishing off wit Rwanda at home and Uganda away, concluding his stint before he discusses whether or not to stay.

“I am here because I am willing. I will stay on if I love the project and it feels right. Even if we win and I don’t like the project, I honestly will not stay,” the tactician added.