Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne says that the door to join the national team is open to all and not restricted only to players playing professionally with clubs.
The Frenchman said this as he presided over the team’s first training session of the year on Tuesday 19 February at the Kenya School of Monetary grounds.
AFCON, CHAN, Olympics
A total of 25 local based players had been called up by Migne last week as he sort to assess the players available to him as the country prepares for the 2019 AFCON as well as the qualifying processes for the 2020 CHAN and Olympics championships.
“The door for the national teams is always open for players from all over,” Migne told reporters on Tuesday.
“It is open to players from the KPL, NSL and even from the streets (if there are exceptional players). I’m not afraid about it because my willingness is to prepare the teams and also the youth players to give them the necessary experience.”
When the provisional 25 names had been named a lot of questions arose as to why two goalkeepers from Kariobangi Sharks had been called-up and why for instance a forward like Nicholas Kipkirui of Gor Mahia, who is having an astounding debut campaign with the defending league champions, had been snubbed.
Migne, who is the first Stars coach since Jacob Ghost Mulee in 2004 to lead the team to the Nations Cup, explained his choices as follows;
On Kipkirui he said, “As you well know Gor Mahia are having a league game tomorrow so it was not possible for their players to be present with us today.
“But as I have said the national team is open to everyone and this is not the end because in the coming weeks I will continue to look at players like for example Kipkirui (Nicholas) can be in the squad and it depends on what I can see for instance in tomorrow’s game.”
On Brian Bwire and John Oyemba he said, “I chose two goal keepers from Sharks because I did not find a good one from Nairobi. Maybe from outside the City but it was difficult to have them here from today.”
He also confirmed that he was hopeful such training sessions would be done on a weekly basis until he names his final squad that will represent the country in Egypt for the AFCON finals in June but he did recognize that it would be difficult because of the local teams schedules.
Below is the list of 25 that had been called-up;
Brian Bwire (Kariobangi Sharks), John Oyemba (Kariobangi Sharks), Farouk Shikalo (Bandari)
Andrew Juma (Mathare United), David Owino (Mathare United), Philemon Otieno (Gor Mahia), Joash Onyango (Gor Mahia), Elvis Nandwa (Ulinzi Stars), Michael Kibwage (KCB), Benard Ochieng (Vihiga United)
Francis Kahata (Gor Mahia), James Mazembe (Kariobangi Sharks), Duke Abuya (Kariobangi Sharks), Roy Okal (Mathare United), Cliff Nyakeya (Mathare United), John Avire (Sofapaka), Dennis Odhiambo (Sofapaka), Teddy Osok (Wazito FC), Whyonne Isuza (AFC Leopards), Jeffary Owiti (AFC Leopards), Abdallah Hassan (Bandari)
Sydney Lokale (Kariobangi Sharks), Piston Mutamba (Sofapaka), Allan Wanga (Kakamega HomeBoyz), David Juma (Tusker)