By Prudence Minayo
Engin Firat is a German Turkish football manager who was unveiled as the new Harambee Stars coach after the unceremonious exit of Jacob Ghost Mulee. He has worked in a number of countries including Turkey, Germany, South Korea, Iran, Moldova and now Kenya.
Age and Education
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He was born on 11th June 1970 in Istanbul, Turkey. Engin graduated from Sports University in Germany.
At the age of 10, Firat kick-started his career in football. He would play for a few years before retiring and moving on to become a coach. In 1997, he became the assistant coach for Samsunspor then coached Horst Hurbesch. This was a huge achievement as it made him the youngest professional football coach in Europe. They finished the league in 5th place in the Super league. When Horst left, he stayed on and became assistant coach to the new head coach from Czech Republic, Joseph Jaranbinsky. The next season he and Joseph joined a different team named Antalyaspor. The season was a success. They had the highest total score ever recorded in the history of the club and finished 6th.
In 2000, he became a member of a Bundesliga team named Eintracht Frankfurt and did scouting for them.
In 2002, he became Assistant coach for a Turkish team named Fenerbahce S. K. They finished second in the season with the highlight being a 6-0 win against Galatasaray.
Together with his head coach Werner Lorant, he joined LR Ahlem. The team was ranked number 17 at the beginning of the second half of the season but they managed to be ranked 5th in the second half of the season. Werner resigned and Firat took over as head coach for three games.
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Also Read: Ghost Mulee Biography, Age, Education, Family and Career
In 2004, both he and Werner Lorant, joined the newly formed South Korean pro team Incheon United.
In the 2005-06 season, Firat and Werner joined the Turkish team Sivasspor. In the pre-season, they won the Cup of the Republic.
Firat then made the move to Iran. Together with Werner, they joined Saipa, an Iranian pro league team. After three months, Werner resigned and Firat became the head coach. They finished the seasons as Iran Premium League (IPL) champions.
In 2008, he became the assistant coach of Iran national football team. He then came to an agreement with the football federation and became the head coach of Sepahan- an Asian Champions League finalist.
In 2011, he resigned from his team and left Iran. He was offered a number of jobs in Turkey and Romania but declined.
On May 2013, he returned to Iran as head coach of Saipa. Under his management the team broke a number of records, such as:
- Saipa won at home against powerhouse Persepolis for the first time in history.
- With the lowest budget and the youngest team, he led Saipa in the league to 8th place, the highest result the team has recorded in seven years.
He then got so many offers both in Iran and from UAE pro league. An injury forced him to decline the offers as he decided to rest.
In 2015, he became head coach of Karabukspor.
In 2016, he became vice president of European Turkisch Coaches Association (TUFAD Europe).
In October 2019, he became coach of the Moldova national team. In Moldova, Firat did not win a single game of the 11 matches he presided over. He lost nine games and managed draws in the rest.
In September 2021, he was appointed coach of Kenya’s national team on a two-months contract.
“This is an interesting project and I am glad to be here. I am glad to see what the next two months hold and hopefully we succeed. Kenya is a good football nation and I am looking forward to work here, “he said following the announcement.
His debut was a disaster as the Harambee Stars was given a 5-0 thrashing by Mali. This puts an end to Kenya hopes of qualifying for Qatar 2022 World Cup.
His salary is estimated at USD10,000 (Kes1million).
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