PHIRI aims for stars

KINNAH Phiri, one of Malawi's most successful soccer coaches, is set to make a dramatic return to Absa Premiership outfit Free State Stars.

KINNAH Phiri, one of Malawi's most successful soccer coaches, is set to make a dramatic return to Absa Premiership outfit Free State Stars.

Sowetan has learnt that Phiri's agent has already approached several Premiership sides with a view to securing a job for him.

Phiri is coaching Malawi's national team, The Flames, who are still in with a chance of qualifying for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Angola.

The Flames are third in the group where the Elephants of Ivory Coast qualified for the 2010 Fifa World Cup after playing to a 1-all draw with The Flames in Blantyre last month.

Malawi are away in Ouagadougou for a crucial match with second-placed Burkina Faso on Saturday where they need a win to realise their dream of going to Angola.

"His agent has spoken to several clubs, but there is a strong possibility that Kinnah will resurface at Free State Stars in a few days' time," said an impeccable source.

"Kinnah's advantage is that he is familiar with the environment and did well when he was still in charge at the club two seasons ago. Stars also reached the (Telkom Knockout) semifinals where they lost to Mamelodi Sundowns in Kimberley. The management of Stars also need another knowledgeable coach to work with Themba Sithole."

Stars chairperson Mike Mokoena and his son Rantsi, the general manager, could not be reached for comment. Phiri could not be reached either.

He is expected to meet the Football Association of Malawi after the World Cup qualifiers regarding his intention to return to South Africa.

Meanwhile, Ghanaian legend and World Cup ambassador Abedi Pele will be in South Africa next Tuesday to promote next year's Afcon. The visit will be part of Standard Bank's continental tour of the trophy won by Egypt in Ghana last year.

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