FKF boss Mwendwa implores Stars to start Afcon journey ‘now’
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa has implored the national team Harambee Stars to start their journey to the 2019 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament ‘now, saying they stand a big chance to qualify for the finals.
Speaking at the federation’s headquarters in Nairobi hours after Thursday night’s qualifiers draw conducted in Gabon’s capital Libreville, Mwendwa reckoned the Stars can go on and impress.
Kenya has been grouped alongside four-time continental champions Ghana, Ethiopia and Siera-Leone in group F. Of the four teams, only Ghana qualified for the 2017 finals starting on Saturday.
“Nowadays we don’t have good draws or bad draws. Football is changing in Africa, we have seen the so called small teams surprise the traditional giants, and some of those giants dominating still.
“We start with Sierra-Leone away, proper planning must start now on how we deliver in the qualifiers. We have made significant steps and we continue to assembe a competitive team that I believe can challenge for a place in 2019 AFCON,” Mwendwa declared.
At the same time, Kenya’s Technical Director Andres Spires has noted the group has tough teams but backed ‘Stars to do well.
“The group is not easy, a team like Ghana is at a considerably higher level compared to us but that does guaranteed them a direct qualification.
“What we need to do is start preparing early bearing in mind our long term goal should reflect in our short term too in terms of performance,” Spires offered.
In the qualifiers for the 2017 edition that kicks-off on Saturday, Kenya failed to make a cut in a group that had Congo, Zambia and Guinea Bissau, the latter qualifying in spite starting as group minnows.
The last time Harambee Stars qualified for the biennial tournament was in 2004 under the tutelage of former caoch Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee in Tunis, Tunisia.
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