Free State Stars reshuffle Kinnah’s role, Saintfiet now coach

South Africa’s top league side Free State Stars have reshuffled their coaching panel with Malawian coach Kinnah Phiri moved back to Technical Director role.

The reshuffle has been necessitated by Free State Stars engagement of another former Malawi national football team coach Belgian Tom Saintfiet as head coach, according to Soccer Laduma.

Soocer Laduma reported that the Belgian 41-year-old coach was already unveiled to the players ahead of the new season kickoff in August.

Kinnah:   Now Technical director
Kinnah: Now Technical director

“Sources have told the Siya crew that the Belgian coach, who was until recently in charge of Malawi, was spotted in the Ea Lla Koto camp, and has already been unveiled to the players,” it reported.

The former Malawi national team, the Flames coach, helped Free State Stars escape relegation to the lower National First Division.

“Kinnah Phiri is now expected to take up the Technical Director role at the club.”

Stars had recently been linked with former Orlando Pirates coach Ruud Krol and Ugandan coach Micho, but it seems that the club have found their man in Saintfiet.

Apart from a stint at Malawi, Saintfiet has also coached Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Yemen and Namibia, amongst others. He was also briefly the Technical director for Nigeria.

While with the Malawi team, Saintfied, who was controversially engaged as volunteer coach, was forced to withdraw his US$10,000 bonus should he had beaten Nigeria in the final Brazil World Cup qualifiers.

Malawi lost 2-0 as a win would have ended the Super Eagles their World Cup dreams as they just needed a pointo qualify.

When Saintfiet began coaching in 1997 at the tender age of 24, he became the youngest manager in Belgian football history.


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