Litmus test as Kimanzi aims to retain Cecafa title


Litmus test as Kimanzi aims to retain Cecafa title
Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi instructs his charges against Togo during their Total Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers 2021 first leg match at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi on November 18, 2019. The match ended 1-1. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Citizen Digital

In Summary

  • Harambee Stars head coach Francis Kimanzi says his side will be inspired by the 2017 performance to try and retain the title when the  2019 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup get underway in Kampala, Uganda next month.
  • Stars are in Group C alongside Tanzania, Djibouti and Zanzibar in the draw that was conducted on Sunday and Kimanzi is confident his charges will emulate the performance of the team which won the gong in 2017 under Belgian coach Paul Put.
  • With starlets having won the  2019 Cecafa Women championship in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania on Monday, Kimanzi says the girls’ heroics is not in any way piling  pressure on his charges.

Harambee Stars head coach Francis Kimanzi says his side will be inspired by the 2017 performance to try and retain the title when the  2019 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup get underway in Kampala, Uganda next month.

Stars are in Group C alongside Tanzania, Djibouti and Zanzibar in the draw that was conducted on Sunday and Kimanzi is confident his charges will emulate the performance of the team which won the gong in 2017 under Belgian coach Paul Put.

With starlets having won the  2019 Cecafa Women championship in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania on Monday, Kimanzi says the girls’ heroics is not in any way piling  pressure on his charges.

“I don’t like comparing women’s football to the men, we are heading to Uganda as the defending champion, that’s our biggest motivation, and we have to continue from where the 2017 team left.

We have the pressure to defend the title and that can only happen if we work hard; on and off the pitch, and that’s our aim,” said Kimanzi.

The coach is expected to name the squad for the tourney on Friday with the hope of reporting to camp on Monday.

“We will try and call up players who have been together for some time so that we don’t start a new thing all over again, but it will depend on their availability.

We will also give a chance to the some new faces depending on their current form because with this tournament one doesn’t really have enough time to prepare for it,” added Kimanzi.

DR Congo have confirmed their participation for the tournament and are in Group B alongside South Sudan, Somalia and Sudan.

The last time Kenya played in the tourney in Uganda, they finished second after losing the final to the hosts in 2012 under coach James Nandwa, and Kimanzi is optimistic they will retain the crown.

“No one can choose which group they want to be in, every group is tough, it all depends on how hard you work as a team to get to the next stage,’”he opined.

We are hoping to name the squad before Friday and hopefully start training on Monday if the Kenyan Premier League clubs will allow us to do so,” the veteran tactician told Citizen Digital.

The tournament begins on December 7-19 in Kampala Uganda.

GROUP A

Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia and Eritrea

GROUP B

DR Congo, South Sudan, Somalia and Sudan.

GROUP C

Kenya, Tanzania, Djibouti and Zanzibar

 

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