Little known Turkish coach Engin Firat has on Sunday, September 19 been appointed as the new Harambee Stars coach on a surprising two month contract.
Engin Firat appointed as Harambee Stars coach
Earlier this year, Engin Firat left his position as the head coach of Moldova.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa during a press conference announced the Turkish national was brought in to ensure Kenya qualifies for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
“We were looking for someone who fits the project that we have. We are in between a campaign already and we wanted someone who can look at the task and be prepared for it.
We were not looking for someone who would be here for three four years but we wanted someone who can help us for these qualifiers,” said President Mwendwa.
Kenyans will be keen to see whether Firat will be able to help Harambee Stars create history by winning Kenya's remaining qualifiers following draws against Uganda and Rwanda in the opening two games.
“This is an interesting project and I am glad to be here. I am glad to see what the next two months hold and hopefully we succeed. Kenya is a good football nation and I am looking forward to work here,” revealed the 51 year old.
“We are impressed by his professionalism. He’s one of the best in Turkey and we want to work with him in our Qatar 2022 (FIFA World Cup) project,” said President Mwendwa.
Firat is the latest foreigner to take charge after Sebastien Migne, who left his position in 2019 when Kenya were defeated by Tanzania in the African Nations Championship (Chan) qualification.
Initially, Migne had guided Kenya to the 2019 African Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt, where they picked up a win in a group that had Senegal and Algeria the eventual finalists and neighbours, Tanzania.
The other foreign coach to have worked under President Mwendwa is Paul Put, who took the team from Stanley Okumbi and led them to the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Machakos in 2017.
Firat has worked with 18 teams, both clubs and national outfits, and Eintracht Frankfurt of Germany and Fenerbahce of Turkey where he worked as an assistant manager between 2002 and 2003.
His first competitive assignment will be the World Cup qualifiers back to back matches against Mali on Wednesday, October 6 and Sunday 10.