No hard feelings for AFCON snub, Jesse Were assures

Zesco United striker Jesse Were has assured he holds no grudges at his omission from the Harambee Stars squad that took part in the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.

The striker, considered one of the best in the country was overlooked by the then coach Sebastien Migne right from the provisional squad stage, which caused a huge uproar from fans, and especially as Kenya seemed to struggle in attack at the tournament.

No hard feelings

The striker got back his place in new coach Francis Kimanzi’s first call of duty, ahead of the international friendly match with Uganda, and in his first address of the same, the Zambia based forward revealed he holds no hard feelings at being left out.

“I know Migne felt he had other better players. I didn’t feel bad, rather, I looked at it as a chance to work harder to get back to the national team and here I am.

“It was definitely a low moment for me to miss out on AFCON, but it was a big plus for my friends who made the cut. It is any player’s wish to play at that level but it is also hard for the coach to pick the team. I always wished the team well,” he said on Thursday 5 September, as the team continued with preparations for the Uganda game on Sunday 8 September.

Were left for Zambia after bagging the KPL Golden Boot in 2015, having scored 22 goals. He has gone on to establish himself at Zesco, where he became the club’s all time goal scorer in January of 2019.

Hamstring injury

Were pulled a hamstring this past weekend in a league match back in Zambia but is hopeful of playing a part in the weekend game. He knows it will not be easy against Uganda.

Head coach Kimanzi, who also worked with Were earlier at Tusker FC, has praised his determination ahead of the game and gave a hint that he may be used in the match.

Kimanzi happy

“I am happy with him because he got this call up but unfortunately picked a small injury this past weekend. He still honored the call up, which to me is a show of his determination, and dedication to the national team,” the coach noted.

Apart from Were, Kimanzi will have Ulinzi Stars forward Enosh Ochieng and Kashiwa Reysol man Michael Olunga to call on in attack.