As revealed in the Star two weeks ago, Football Kenya Federation have picked Algerian-born Belgian Adel Amrouche as the new Harambee Stars head coach on a one year renewable contract.
The immediate former Burundi coach was unveiled yesterday at a Nairobi hotel.Amrouche replaces Frenchman Henri Michel who abandoned the team last year in unclear circumstances barely three months into his one year contract.
The Belgian said his primary target is to work with the youth, who he said possess abundant talent. "The door is open for all the players from all the 47 counties," said Amrouche. "My aim will be to put all the players on the same level -to work as a team."
"Mine will be more of a youth project as we seek to build for the future. Together we can do a good job and all am asking for is support from all the stakeholders including the government, FKF, Kenyan Premier League and the fans," he said.
FKF chairman Sam Nyamweya said Amrouche was picked after a rigorous process that involved 20 applicants. The four who made the shortlist were France 2006 World Cup coach Raymond Domenech, Current Uganda coach Bobby Williamson of Scotland and Rwanda's Serbian tactician Milutin Mitchu.
"We considered many attributes in our selection process. These included age, experience, affordability and commitment," Nyamweya said.
"Amrouche is not new to African football," said Nyamweya. "He understands the Kenyan scenario very well having been in Burundi for the last five years. We are certain his cooperation with James (Nandwa) will bear fruits."
Nandwa has been the stand-in coach and took a largely second string side to the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup final and beat Libya 3-0 in an international friendly match in his latest outing despite falling to Burundi 1-0 in Bujumbura and 0-0 in Nairobi in an African Nations Championship.
Under Michel the team lost 2-1 to South Africa in Nairobi and 1-0 in Dar es Salaam.
"This is probably my last assignment in Africa and I want to make my name here," said Amrouche. "FKF did not make a mistake in picking me as the next coach. I am a winner."
He said he will be working closely with the KPL coaches and is positive he will make it owing to the high standards of the league and the quality of players.
Minister for sports Ababu Namwamba and FKF chairman promised full support for the Algerian and observed they are ready to go an extra mile to ensure he succeeds.
Namwamba said the country has enough raw material (players) and was convinced local coaches are as good and sought for their incorporation in Amrouche's programme.