There are many positives to pick despite the Kenya national team Harambee Stars suffering an early exit from the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), says the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president, Nick Mwendwa.
Heading to the competition, head coach Sebastien Migne promised to engineer qualification to the last 16, but the target wasn’t realized after losses to Algeria and Senegal at the group stages.
Kenya’s doughnut was further soiled by a Cameroon – Benin draw which meant the team could get to finish as one of the four best placed third spot finishers from the group stages, which would have earned Kenya a place in the second round.
A lot of criticism has followed, but the FKF boss is calling on a little positivity as fresh targets are set, with an eye to a brighter future.
“We set out to prepare a team, and we worked very hard at it and I can today say that the team has done well. I am not happy at some things, for example the team conceding many goals and we have not been conceding before.
“But we are on a good path; we have made a team, we have a setup, we have a collaboration now with the ministry (of sports) which is doing things that are deliberate and we can see where we are going. For me that’s very important,” he said.
Embark on CHAN
After the AFCON experience, the team is set to embark on preparations for the African Nations Championships (CHAN), starting with the qualifiers where Kenya will meet Tanzania in the first round.
Mwendwa assured that focus will now shift to the tournament as well as strengthening for the future.
“Let’s now go to CHAN to show what we can do. Let’s try qualify for CHAN and also try to qualify for (AFCON) 2021. We are coming back (to AFCON) I can tell you, with the support we have (from the ministry) and the things we are doing,” he added.
The team is expected to touch down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Thursday at 3.30am EAT after the AFCON experience.