Kenya’s national men team Harambee Stars are currently without a coach following the departure of Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee on Wednesday.
Mulee who has been in charge of the team for less than a year left on mutual consent and according to reports, Football Kenyan Federation has settled on Engin Firat as his replacement.
So who exactly is Firat?
Born in Turkey 51 years ago, Firat’s career as a player is not well documented but has been one of the most traveled coaches in Europe.
He graduated from Sports University in Germany and started his professional career as an assistant coach in his native Turkey with Samsunspor in 1997 when he was 27 years old. He only had one season with the club before joining league rivals Antalyaspor. They finished a very successful season in the 6th spot, with the highest total points and rank in the club’s history.
With his heroics in the two clubs, his first stint away from his home took him to Germany where he was appointed as a member of the technical staff of Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt. He was to move to Turkish giants Fenerbahçe S.K., as an assistant coach of German head coach Werner Lorant in 2002. They finished 2nd in the league and their historical 6–0 win over rivals, Galatasaray was the highlight of the season.
In January 2003, Lorant and Firat took over 2. Bundesliga side, LR Ahlen. The team was 17th at the beginning of the second half of the season finished far away from the relegation spots. They ranked 5th on the 2nd half of the season ranking. After Lorant was resigned as the club head coach, Firat became head coach for three games.
In 2004, Lorant and Firat joined the newly founded South-Korean Pro team Incheon United. Due to family reasons Firat left the team after pre-season camp but was returned to the club one month later and also guided the team in five matches.
Firat was once again worked with Lorant as an assistant coach, this time at the Iran Pro League side, Saipa. As Lorant resigned after 3 months, despite leading the league, the club offered Firat to continue his work as the new head coach. Saipa took the boost from the league-lead and finished the season as surprising champions of the IPL. In March 2008, Ali Daei was appointed as the head coach of the Iran national football team and asked Firat to become his assistant coach.
Firat was among the candidates to become head coach of Nigeria to lead the team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, a job he rejected. His last job came with the Moldovia national team where he resigned earlier this year.
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