June 21, 2021

Jacob Mulee: FKF confirms tactician as Francis Kimanzi’s Harambee Stars successor

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Ghost returns to the high-level coaching scene a day after the local federation let go of the previous technical bench

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has confirmed the appointment of Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee as the new Harambee Stars head coach.

Mulee returns to the national fold and now takes the mantle from Francis Kimanzi who parted ways with FKF on mutual consent on Tuesday. The change – said to have been informed by a general team restructuring – came as Kenya prepare to play Comoros in November for an Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier.

Kimanzi left the scene after he masterminded what had been tipped to be an unlikely friendly win against Zambia on October 9 at Nyayo Stadium. He had been appointed in 2019 to replace Sebastien Migne who he worked with as an assistant coach.

Mulee left a mark as the national team head coach after helping Harambee Stars qualify for the 2004 Afcon edition in Tunisia. He had – at his disposal – what has been regarded as one of Kenya’s greatest squads.

Under him were Dennis Oliech – Kenya’s top scorer with 34 goals – McDonald Mariga, Musa Otieno, John Baraza, Tom Juma, Jo ‘Mo’ Muiruri, Francis Onyiso, and Mike Okoth – Arnold Origi’s father – among several stars.

He is also credited to have mentored the current J1 League top scorer Michael Olunga and his appointment has provided an opportunity for the duo to work again at national level.

Mulee becomes the fifth coach to have been appointed by Nick Mwendwa since he took office in 2016.

Stanley Okumbi came and lasted from February 2016 to October 2017 as persistent public criticism saw him leave the position.

Paul Put was appointed to replace him and the tactician led Kenya to yet another Cecafa title as he lasted between November 2017 to February 2018 before he abruptly left after making damning allegations against FKF.

Kenya then settled for Migne who led the country to the 2019 Afcon finals but, a Chan qualifying setback against Tanzania saw him part ways with the team on mutual consent paving the way for Kimanzi’s rise to the helm.

Kimanzi remained in charge from August 2019 to October 20, 2020, and he left just days after Mwendwa had secured another four-year term as the FKF president.

Mulee and his technical bench are expected to help Harambee Stars fight for back-to-back Afcon qualifications with two matches – against Egypt and Togo – already played.