There is no more time for bickering over squad selection, that is the message from Kenya’s Harambee Stars defender Joash Onyango ahead of the team’s first match at the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
From the day head coach Sebastien Migne named the provisional squad to start preparations for the competition, there has been an outcry over the selection, with the omission of a number of top players.
Rally behind team
Joash, speaking days before the first game, against Algeria, on Sunday 23 June, called on fans both in Kenya and in Egypt, to united and rally behind the team for the country’s benefit.
“There has been a lot of negative thinking towards Harambee Stars, but now is not the time for that. We need the fans in their numbers to come out and support us, especially in the first game, on Sunday.
Not the time
“Let’s try and avoid debates on team selection and so on; this is not the time for that. The 23 – man team is already known, let’s trust whoever is there and support them. Whatever result we get, we should be thankful,” he said.
The Gor Mahia defender lauded the preparation accorded to the team and as they head to their first match, he termed the injury to defender Brian Mandela as the only setback they have had to deal with.
“We were in France for preparation and all was good. The only thing that went wrong was the injury to Mandela. We wish him quick recovery, and it is good that he is here (in Egypt) with us, to give us moral support,” he added.
On Wednesday 19 June, Mandela had a surgery on his injured knee before joining his team mates in Egypt on Friday.
Kenya’s game against Algeria starts at 11pm EAT.