Alex Alumirah appointed as Harambee Starlets coach

 Alex Alumirah

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Caretaker Committee chairman, Justice (Rtd) Aaron Ringera (second left) poses for photo with new Harambee Starlets coach Alex Alumirah (right) during his unveiling at Nyayo National Stadium on January 24, 2022.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • He will be assisted by Benter Achieng and Ann Aluoch, while Martha Karimi will be the team manager.

Football Kenya Federation caretaker committee Monday unveiled Alex Alumirah as Kenya women’s national football team head coach for the next 12 months.

Led by the caretaker committee’s chairperson, retired justice Aaron Ringera, the committee also named Thika Queens head coach Benta Achieng and Mathare United Women's coach Anne Aluoch as Alumirah’s assistants, while Martha Karemi is the team manager. 

Alumirah takes over from interim coach Charles Okere who took over after former coach David Ouma was fired in March 2021. 

The 38-year-old Alumirah has vast experience in coaching women’s football teams with his most notable work drawn from his time with three-time Kenya Women Premier League champions Vihiga Queens.

“Before the caretaker committee took charge of the federation, there were no rules or formats when it came to selecting and appointing coaches for the women’s teams. But all that has changed now and we have a system set up. 

“Twelve coaches applied for this position but only five were shortlisted. Alumirah eventually stood out because of his conspicuous achievements with Vihiga Queens and also his contributions to the technical bench of the national team and it was almost obvious because his track record and work ethic preceded him,” said retired football icon Bobby Ogolla, who was part of the selection panel. 

Alex Alumirah

New Harambee Starlets coach Alex Alumirah gestures during his unveiling at Nyayo National Stadium on January 24, 2022.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

In August 2021, Alumirah resigned from his post at Vihiga Queens just a week before their opening match against Commercial Bank of Ethiopia in the Council of East and Central Africa Football Association (Cecafa) CAF Women’s Champions League qualifiers. 

Prior to his resignation, Alumirah, had been with the western Kenya based team since its inception in 2014 and guided them to hat-trick of league crowns.

Alumirah, who had served in Harambee Starlets technical bench as a consultant, then moved to Tanzania’s Tiger Queens, who made their debut in the Serengeti Women Premier League in November with Alumirah as the team manager, just a week after parting ways with Vihiga Queens. 

“When I left the country last year, I said that nothing else would bring me back other than a chance to coach the national team because my goal as a coach is to always look for new challenges.

I had done my work with Vihiga Queens and it was not exciting any more. Now I am in the coach’s seat again with Harambee Starlets and I am ready to continue making history with the team that has continuously outdone itself,” said Alumirah.

Alumirah’s appointment comes just a day before Harambee Starlets enter camp ahead of their 2022 Africa Women's Cup of Nations (AWCON) second round qualifier against Uganda.

The first leg is slated for February 16 in Kampala, while the second leg is set for February 23 In Nairobi. The winners will proceed to the final tournament in Morocco. 

Kenya advanced to the second round after hammering South Sudan 15-1 on aggregate.

“I am aware that coaching a team in the league is different from coaching the national team and I am prepared to face any challenge head on to ensure that the team gets to the AWCON main tournament.

We do not plan to disrupt the existing team, but with more of our players getting European deals, we will definitely source out for other outstanding players from the league clubs. 

In the next 12 months, my goal is not only to get to Awcon, but also create a philosophy and mindset of development that the players can refer to as they continue to take on football as a career and advance to the highest levels including the World Cup and I am certain that with hard work, we will get there.” he added.  

Alumirah’s other achievements include mentoring some of the top female players including Harambee Starlets lethal striker Jentrix Shikangwa (Turkey), goalkeeper Lilian Awuor (France), Cynthia Shilwatso (Spain) and Terry Engesha. 

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