Harambee Stars’ Firat discusses his football philosophy as two-month spell begins

The tactician will face Mali twice in October in World Cup qualifiers as Kenya seek their first win in the group

Kenya head coach Engin Firat has explained the football philosophy that he would implement as he steers the national team.

The Turkish mentor was appointed coach for an initial two-month contract when Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee reached an agreement with Football Kenya Federation to part ways. The former Moldova tactician has now revealed what will be his guiding policy in the new job.

“I believe too much in science and in my feelings too. Therefore, I am following up on what is going on as I am always updated. Modern football is all about details and nothing else. It is not like 20 or 30 years ago,” Firat said.

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“Apart from talent, there are so many details that can decide everything, including the logistics that can decide a game.

“I do not believe in luck in football, I push for it. For example, if I am playing a much better team, then I will want to control the game. They can have better players, but I do not care. It is all about what you do as a team. 

“Many coaches are now playing with the 4-2-3-1 system and I do not understand why. If you have two good centre-forwards, why should you leave one on the bench just because it is what the system demands?

“I have to find a way to use the two together.  The system will always depend on the quality of the players.

“We are in a digital world where you get every piece of information. If I want to know about one player and how he behaves technically, I will get all the information and statistics that I want.”

Harambee Stars players and coach Jacob Mulee.

The 51-year-old tactician also explained who he is from a personal perspective and how he relates with the players he coaches.

“You know you change with time. Your character will change, and as a coach, you will have to change too. Now I am more focused and controlled than I was when I was younger,” he added.

“It is very rare when I shout louder compared to when I was younger, and the players know it would not be right if I shouted aloud. 

“I am more focused on the players and very much focused on their character because you cannot judge a person only by their qualities, but you must understand them as a person first. That can help a lot in keeping his performance up.

“If you are building a team, let’s say of 24 people, that means you have 24 characters and some of them you have to help while you have to be nice to others. Therefore, you must get a feeling for every person, and in the end, everything must work together as a team.”

Firat’s first competitive games for Harambee Stars will be against Mali in Group E’s World Cup qualifiers in October.

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