Kazakhstan Soccer Shake Up

The Kazakhstan Football Federation is looking for a new boss for the national team after losing faith in manager Bernd Storck. Despite his ambitious targets going into UEFA Euro 2012 qualifiers, Storck’s charges lost all four games.

The suits that run Kazakh football are impatient for success, but the mission to gain three points in qualifiers was always going to be a tough one for a team ranked 126 worldwide, especially with fixtures against Germany, Turkey, Belgium and Austria.

Storck, who took charge of the team in July 2008, was an unusual choice given his lack of managerial experience, especially at an international level. He worked as assistant coach at a number of clubs in his native Germany and Serbia before arriving in Kazakhstan. During his tenure the national team played nine competitive games, losing seven and winning two, but those wins came against relative minnows.

The football federation has ambitious plans. The 30,000 capacity Astana Arena, the national team’s new home, recently opened in Kazakhstan’s capital, but it will take time before the country has a team worthy of playing in these impressive surroundings. The new boss will have to continue Storck’s work focusing on the next generation of players if Kazakhstan is to achieve the success the suits crave.