Kenya coach Paul Put @KPL
Kenya coach Paul Put @KPL

New Kenya coach Put calls for support

Newly appointed Kenya coach Belgian Paul Put has asked local football stakeholders to support him fully and have confidence in him as he looks to return Harambee Stars to their past glory.

Put, who was unveiled on Saturday in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa during the Football Kenya Federation’s Annual General Meeting, has promised to guide Kenya to the finals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2022 World Cup in future.

He, however, said that to succeed, he will need the input of all stakeholders, including fans, corporate sponsors, the media, government and his employers.

“I have written history with small nations like Gambia and Jordan for the few years I was with them. I believe that I am capable of steering Kenya to achieve big things.

“All I need is support from all quarters. I want to lead a team of 12 and not just 11. And that means that the 12th person must come from all corners of the Kenyan football scene.

“I want to see the stadium fully packed because that is the only way the players and I will know that we are working together.

“Football is not just about technical knowledge, it is also about effort and sacrifice. We have quality players so with your support I know that I can deliver,” he said.

The Belgian coach was speaking shortly after meeting Sports Principal Secretary Peter Kaberia at his office in Nairobi on Tuesday, where he was challenged to help restore the country’s football reputation that has been ruined by years of poor performance.

“We want to see Kenya, under Put, step on the big podiums and achieve big wins. We are working very closely with the federation and I hope that together we shall achieve our objectives,” Kaberia said.

Put has been given a two-year contract by FKF and his first assignment will be this year’s Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup that kicks off one December 3 in Kenya.

Put was flanked by FKF president Nick Mwendwa and his immediate predecessor Stanley Okumbi and Musa Otieno who have been retained in the national team set up as assistant coaches.

Mwendwa revealed that Nairobi-based gaming firm SportPesa will pay three quarter of the coach’s salary with the ministry footing the balance in partnership with FKF.

The 61-year old Belgian’s international coaching career includes securing Gambia’s qualification to the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in the country’s history, helping Burkina Faso qualify for the same tournament twice in 2013 (where they reached the final) and 2017.

On the down side however, the European holds a dubious record of having once been banned from football activities over match-fixing claims.


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