CECAFA U20: Okumbi urges team to focus beyond regional tourney

The Kenya U20 national team will leave the country on Wednesday 18 September for Uganda, for the 2019 CECAFA U20 championships and ahead of the tournament, head coach Stanley Okumbi has challenged his boys to set higher targets.

A former senior national team and U23 national team head coach, Okumbi has seen it all and called on his players to take this chance as their big step up in the march to the senior national team.

The coach initially called up 41 players before trimming the team to 28 and the final squad for the tournament will be known later on Wednesday 18 September ahead of departure and even ahead of that, the coach is quite optimistic that all will go as planned.

Now or never

“It is now or never… I have been challenging them that a number of players we had in this team are with the senior national team, some are in the U23 team and they know this is their time to show what they can do and move to the next level.

“I know we have good quality and we have no excuse for being unable to perform,’ he said as the team went through its final paces before leaving for Uganda.

Kenya is in Group B of the competition alongside Ethiopia, Zanzibar and Tanzania and Okumbi is confident that after having good sessions together in training, his team will deliver.

Tough group

“We are in a tough group and we know we need to be at our best to be able to top the group. We have been training well and I know that we will do well in the tournament,” he added.

In August, the Kenya U15 national team went all the way to the CECAFA U15 final in Eritrea and Okumbi will be hoping to steer his side to go a step better and win the regional title.