Kinnah Phiri has been appointed Free State Stars head coach, swapping roles with Simba Sithole in the South Africa Premiership side’s last ditch effort to escape the drop.
And Kinnah made a winning start at the helm when Stars beat BidVest Wits University 3-1 on Saturday night with Robin Ngalande snatching the losers’ consolation. Stars wrapped up the win through Richard Henyekane’s hat-trick.
Kinnah took many by surprise when in January he dumped Northern Region football development officer’s role in Mzuzu to accept a ‘junior’ post as a deputy to Sithole.
Club website www.freestatestarsfc.co.za reports that Sithole will now work under Kinnah alongside a co-assistant coach Mark Harrison.
“Yes, I can confirm that we have roped in Mark as co- assistant with Sithole and we have elevated the experienced Phiri as the club head coach,” Stars general manager RantsiMokoena told the club’s official website.
“We are happy to have roped in Harrison as a coach. He will certainly bring the expertise and value in our technical team department and one hopes that the trio will together help us solve the current situation.”
Kinnah takes over from Sithole after a run of six defeats in nine games. Stars are second from the bottom of the 16-member league.
Harrison bounces back into the premiership just weeks after being sacked by Lamontville Golden Arrows.
FAM and government sacked Kinnah as Flames head coach in January 2013 and redeployed him as a regional officer alongside his then assistant Young Chimodzi, who is now back as Flames head coach.