Beleaguered Kimanzi handed contract extension

Head coach Francis Kimanzi and his assistant Salim Ali follow proceedings from the bench in a past KPL match. The duo has been handed a one year contract extension despite having a troubled first leg.

Despite coming under immense pressure in recent weeks following an underwhelming first leg, head coach Francis Kimanzi has been handed a one year contract extension that will see him remain in the club until December 2018.

Kimanzi, whose future was the subject of speculation in local football circles, was set to enter the final six months of his initial two year deal when the second leg begins on June 17. With only two wins from 13 matches and a bottom place ranking to show, the stage was set for his dismissal.

Right man

However club Chairman Bob Munro insists that Kimanzi is still the right man for the job. Speaking after the friendly match between former Mathare United players and the current squad Bob backed Kimanzi to restore the club’s lost glory in the second leg; a decision that was unanimously acclaimed by Kimanzi’s former teammates.

Also read: Kimanzi delights in ex-players' friendly match

“In most clubs, if the team is last in the league near the mid-season, the club usually then fires the coach but Mathare United isn’t like most teams. Instead we have extended the coach’s contract and even increased his salary because he had the courage to recruit many talented young players whose quality will become increasingly evident in the second leg this season and in the years ahead,” said Munro.

In retrospect, Kimanzi—whose assistant Salim Ali has been retained on similar terms—likened the current situation to his formative years in coaching adding that better days lie ahead.

Confident 

“I have faced a similar situation before in 2005 when I had very little experience in coaching. Many player left the club and we were forced to rebuild. That team that we built later won the league in 2008. So I am confident in this project and very soon we will have a very good team,” remarked Kimanzi.

With his future at the club now secured, Kimanzi can now rest easy and step up preparations for the Round 14 league match against AFC Leopards on Saturday 17 June.  

Also read: Historic friendly lights up team spirit