Migne calls for “patience” with squad as Stars jet out to France


Migne calls for
Kenya National team coach Sebastian Migne addresses the media when he named squads for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) as well as the Africa Nations Championships Qualifiers at the FKF House, Goal project on May 13, 2019. Photo/Kelly Ayodi/Sportpicha/Citizen

In Summary

  • Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne has told Kenyans to be “patient” with the players he has trusted with the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) duty, amid claims of poor selection by a section of fans.
  • During Thursday’s luncheon for the team at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi where he named his 27-man squad for the over two weeks camp in France, Migne firmly defended his decisions to drop Allan Wanga and Whyvonne Isuza who had been summoned in the initial squad of 30.
  • While it was not a surprise to most of the ever vocal Kenyan football fanatics that second choice Kariobangi Sharks custodian Brian Bwire was the third casualty, it was Wanga’s case that left tongues wagging having concluded the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) as the top scorer.
Jacob Icia

Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne has told Kenyans to be “patient” with the players he has trusted with the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) duty, amid claims of poor selection by a section of fans.

During Thursday’s luncheon for the team at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi where he named his 27-man squad for the over two weeks camp in France, Migne firmly defended his decisions to drop Allan Wanga and Whyvonne Isuza who had been summoned in the initial squad of 30.

While it was not a surprise to most of the ever vocal Kenyan football fanatics that second choice Kariobangi Sharks custodian Brian Bwire was the third casualty, it was Wanga’s case that left tongues wagging having concluded the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) as the top scorer.

The Kakamega Homeboyz hitman bagged 18, and is Golden Boot hopeful if Ulinzi’s Enosh Ochieng (17) will not surpass his mark when the Nakuru based side welcomes relegated and struggling Mt. Kenya United in the rescheduled season-ender on Sunday.

Harambee Stars players Allan Wanga (L) and Christopher Tangeni Mbamba in action at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani on March 19, 2019. The national team is preparing ahead of their African Cup of Nations qualifier match against Ghana slated for March 23, 2019. Photo/Oliver Ananda/Sportpicha

Answering journalists, Migne said he would like Kenyans to support the players he has picked rather than comparing them with their preferred ones, insisting his choices were purely on merit.

“We know our history at the AFCON, we are only Kenya, so we need to be humble. I however honestly think if we can work and be conscious of continuity we can bring something interesting, I’m sure of that. After all you need to be patient with your team, may be if not with me,” said Migne.

In the same breath, Migne has said he cannot rule out anything going to Egypt, saying he has an open mind approach to the opponents in waiting.

“You never know, we could qualify for the second round in our last Group match match against Senegal. Anything can happen, I cannot limit the players because we have shown we can compete. We showed it against Ghana, now the players will give the answer if we can at this level, which is totally different,” observed Migne.

None of the players in the squad has featured in the competition before, with most of the members of 2004 class when Stars last competed in AFCON either retired.

Stars jet out

Meanwhile, Harambee Stars jetted out of the country to Paris on Friday morning with the national team set to camp for three weeks in preparation for the continental fiesta.

A total of 15 players, who ply their trade overseas were not part of the squad and will link up with the 12 who were part of the travelling squad earlier in the day.

Among the players expected to join Migne and his team in France include Captain Victor Wanyama, who is currently in Spain, Madrid for Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final with Tottenham Hotspur.

The team is on an eight-hour flight to Paris, and has already been booked at the French Rugby Federation, Marcoussis Cedex, where their training.

FKF has also lined up two friendly matches, one against Madagascar on June 7, in Paris and the Democratic Republic of Congo a week later, in Madrid.

Provisional Squad

GoalkeepersPatrick Matasi, John Oyemba, Faruk Shikhalo.

DefendersAbud Omar, Joash Onyango, Joseph Okumu, Musa Mohammed, David Owino, Bernard Ochieng, Brian Mandela, Philemon Otieno, Eric Ouma.

Midfielders: Victor Wanyama, Anthony Akumu, Ismael Gonzalez, Ayub Timbe, Francis Kahata, Ovella Ochieng, Dennis Odhiambo, Eric Johanna, Paul Were, Cliffton Miheso, Johanna Omollo.

ForwardsJohn Avire, Masud Juma, Christopher Mbamba, Michael Olunga.

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