Amrouche lays out vision for Stars
Belgian Adel Amrouche popularly known as ‘the architect’ is the new Harambee Stars coach taking over the reins from Frenchman Henry Michel.
Amrouche has his work cut out as he tries to rebuild the national team. He spoke to supersport.com’s Collins Okinyo on he will go about this enormous task.
Supersport.com: What inspired you to apply for the Kenyan job?
Amrouche: I personally started following Kenya over seven years ago when we beat them 2-0 in Cecafa and during that match I saw different characters in the team; some were rebels and some players had great character and this is what I liked.
I like working with players with personality and not hypocrites and from that moment I started to keenly follow the Kenyan players. I first sent over my CV for consideration in 2009. I have always seen a potential in the country and I believe I could be the man to help rebuild the team that has seen dwindling fortunes.
Supersport.com: In your capacity as the new Harambee Stars coach what are your short term and long term plans ?
Amrouche: My short term plan is to create a conducive atmosphere in the team by ensuring communication between me ,the players and the federation as I believe it’s important to have a rapport with the players as I want on team ,one philosophy ,one spirit and one family.
My long term plan is to effectively rebuild a new team with creativity ,character ,new conception and to have a new crop of players who will be at the same level with the professional players .I want to use the experience of professional players and give it back to the local players to excel.
Supersport.com: How do you plan to rebuild the team?
Amrouche: Kenya is a very big country and my intentions is to ensure that the national team doors are open to every Kenyan players across the country and not only players based in Nairobi.
I want to go round the country .I want to build a Kenyan team is beyond ethnicity and to ensure that anybody that has got talent can be given a chance to prove themselves at the highest level as we want more and more Wanyama’s ,Oliech’s and Origi’s in the team. I want to chose quality and I am not scared to take a player from a small team as long as he has the talent that can help the national team some of them will also be used in the youth teams.
Supersport.com: Africa Cup of Nations winning coach Stephen Keshi recently lambasted African nations for employing foreign coaches saying the locals deserve the coaching roles and that the European coaches were not better ,what is your take on this statement by the Nigerian coach?
Amrouche: I totally agree with Keshi’s sentiments as we have so many foreign coaches who come to Africa to only make quick money but they don’t have the passion for the teams they are coaching that is why you see different coaches trying only staying in their post for few months.
The Kenyan job was vacant but you could see some foreign coaches who are already in different positions in neighbouring countries also applied for the job which is greed and hypocrisy as they have shown lack commitment to the teams they coach. I believe in giving total focus to every team I handle and that explains why I was in Burundi for five years yet I had so many offers across the world.
Supersport.com: Indiscipline has been a big issue in the team where some players feel superior to others leading to acrimony. How do you intend to tackle such issues?
Amrouche: In my team every player is equal and it’s important that players put the country Kenya first and not self interest. I want players with passion for the country and not just putting on the jersey and I will have a philosophy where players will know they do not have permanent places in the national team as every game you play will buy you a jersey for the next game.
Supersport.com: Harambee Stars have crucial World cup qualifying matches against Nigeria coming up shortly in March what are your thoughts especially that Nigeria have just be crowned as African champions?
Amrouche: The game against Nigeria will be like any other match and I believe it’s only a foolish coach that would instil fear to his players ahead of a crucial match. I respect Nigeria and I even sent Stephen Keshi a congratulatory message but as a coach my philosophy is always to win.
I will embark on a crucial tactical and technical approach for the game until the end. I am concerned with building a team that will be playing many matches not a team that will only concentrate on Nigeria.
Supersport.com: What is your take on youth programmes vis a vis the National team?
Amrouche: The youth teams like under 17 and Under 20 play an integral part of the national team and we have to have aggressive people who can come up with good players who will be then given a chance to be promoted to the senior team on merit by build up on friendlies.
Supersport.com: You were in Tunisia to watch Kenya play Libya in a friendly match what your take on their performance?
Amrouche: That was my first chance to see the team and the win was good but we have a lot of work to do in different departments. Kenya has potential but I have to work on the team work to get the full potential and a winning philosophy.
Supersport.com: What should the Kenyan fan who is so hungry for success expect from you?
Amrouche: My name Adel is a small composed of four words but in coaching I do big things I don’t have a limit when I work. I have asked to be given ample working time so that I can be able to transform the team and the fans should realize we are not only building the team to play Nigeria but it’s important to build a team that will be sustainable and more aggressive.
I want in the next seven months our local players should have opportunities to go abroad as we ensure we have a team that is self sufficient and does not have only a few players to depend on.
Supersport.com: On a more lighter note coach please tell the readers about your family?
Amrouche: Adel is a family man with a wife and three children ,two boys and a girl all leaving in Belgium.
Superport.com: What are your hobbies and what is your favourite food having been in Africa for long?
Amrouche: my hobbies are diverse I love technology in sports which is my speciality, I love reading history a lot and Congolese music. My favourite food is Ugali and fish.
Supersport.com: Finally coach Amrouche what is your rallying call to the fans, federation and players?
Amrouche: I would like to work with everyone and the most important factor is that everybody should have belief in me to help propel Kenya a team I love and want to give 100 percent in my duties as I want to embark to preparations immediately.