Migne: We’re out to write a story on Kenyan football


Migne: We're out to write a story on Kenyan football
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 Sebastian Migne has commended winger Ayub Timbe for his ‘patriotism’ vis-à-vis playing for accepting a call- up ahead of the fourth coming African Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.
  • While naming his 30-man squad for the continental fiesta preps, the Frenchman underscored the passion his players have shown in the Afcon build-ups will be a key factor to their performance.
  • Timbe, who has never played under Migne since taking over from former coach Paul Putt in May 2018, pointed out Timbe has denied himself club glory for the sake of the national team.

Harambee Stars head coach Sebastian Migne has commended winger Ayub Timbe for his ‘patriotism’ vis-à-vis playing for accepting a call- up ahead of the fourth coming African Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.

While naming his 30-man squad for the continental fiesta preps, the Frenchman underscored the passion his players have shown in the Afcon build-ups, noting it will be a key factor to their performance.

Timbe, who has never played under Migne since taking over from former coach Paul Putt in May 2018, pointed out Timbe has denied himself club glory for the sake of the national team.

“He (Timbe) chose to go for an operation early enough, in Belgium, after his unfortunate injury while playing for his Chinese side. He told me he had Afcon in mind while taking the step and has been recuperating well since January. He really wants to play for the team, that’s why I don’t have doubt about his long absence,” said the optimistic coach.

Timbe picked a double injury on his shoulder and knee on September 2, last year, when Beijing Renhe beat Dalian Yifang 2 – 0 in the Chinese Super League (CSL) match.

He only featured in the forgettable 2-1 defeat against Sierra Leone as Harambee Stars kicked off the 2019 Afcon qualifiers then under former coach Stanley Okumbi, in which he was booked for reported misconduct immediately after the match.

Ayub Timbe (L) of Kenya contest for ball with of Congo during their AFCON 2017 qualifier match at Safaricom stadium Kasarani on June 05, 2016. Kenya won 2-1. Photo/Tabitha Otwori/Sportpicha/Citizen

However, the match would not be factored in the qualification process, after Sierra Leone were banned by the world football governing body Fifa for government influence on matters football.

After the suspension, Timbe sustained the injury that he struggled with until January when he went under the knife.

“I had successful knee surgery and I need a couple of weeks to recover. I will be back soon and stronger than ever,” Timbe wrote then on his Facebook timeline.

Migne noted fears of unsporting practices that arise from unpatriotic attitude are not a concern, underscoring the spirit has been amazing throughout the qualifying campaign.

“The entire team has been showing the desire. The other day I was talking to Victor (Wanyama) and he is really set for Afcon. He has an important UEFA Champions League final on June 1, but he is still focused on the national duty. With such an attitude I have no worries of the players’ part going to the tournament,” said the coach, answering journalists on psychological preparedness of the team against the ever increasing match fixing menace.

Migne has meanwhile sent a warning to opponents his charges are ready for any test in Egypt.

“Obviously we will not travel to Egypt like a tourist. When you’re playing in a competition the aim is to try and achieve your best and it will be the first target will be a qualification for the knock out stages. They’re different ways to do that, there are two teams in the group and then there is a new parameter,” he told reporters.

We need to take care of this new parameter but it is open, everything is possible. We will take match after match and our target is to try to write the story for Kenyan football. We know we are not perfect but it was interesting if you followed the statistics we had some clean sheets during the qualifiers. When you have a clean sheet it is beginning of good results,” he added.

Stars are in Pool C together with Senegal’s Lions of Teranga, Algeria’s Desert Foxes and neighbours, Taifa Stars, of Tanzania, as they return to the biggest continental football party after a 15-year drought.

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Story By Jacob Icia
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