The Kenya national team head coach Sebastien Migne is here for the long haul. That was his message to the Kenyan fans after hitting another low with Harambee Stars’ failure to advance past the first round of qualifiers for the 2020 African Nations Championships (CHAN).
On Sunday 4 August, Kenya was dumped out of the qualifiers by Tanzania, after two barren draws in the tie and falling on post match penalties which extended Kenya’s absence from the tournament that brings together players plying their trade in local leagues.
It also marked another round of un-achieved targets for the Frenchman, who had earlier assured to guide Kenya past the group stages of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
In his defence, at the post match press conference, Migne took journalists back to the years gone, throwing in his main achievement – aiding Kenya qualify for the 2019 AFCON as a way of showing the great steps the team has made under him.
“Don’t forget where you (Kenya) were; you had never qualified for AFCON in 15 years. It is not even about CHAN; Kenya has never been to the U17 or U20 AFCON and that means Kenya doesn’t have the maturity to contest at the highest level.
Gave my best
“Honestly, I gave my best and I offered the fans an opportunity to dream with the AFCON qualification. About resigning, you will have to check with my president – I am under contract but it is already difficult to pay my salary and it will be difficult to pay the remainder of my full contract as well if I were to be sacked.
“I am a hard worker; I knew it will be hard when I accepted this job but my way is to give everything and to try and ensure something is going on when you sack me perhaps,” he said amid a loud laughter from the journalists.
Failing to get to the second round of the CHAN qualifiers, Migne attributed by large to the departure of key players from his initially selected squad, but he backed the current crop of players to do well in future.
“It is unfortunate that I haven’t managed to end Kenya’s absence at CHAN tournament. It was difficult also because after AFCON, a lot of local based players transferred to other leagues.
“Two months ago we had players like Nyakeya, Farouk, Kahata and Wanga but just 15 days ago they were not with us and it was hard to imagine we can compete well but the boys gave their best and they will sure do well in the future,” he added.
With the national team out of CHAN qualifiers, the next assignment comes in November when it starts the AFCON 2021 qualifiers and the coach revealed he will be away for a bit of time as he attends to his ailing daughter, assuring that his assistants will take charge in the meantime.