NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21 – “I hear a lot of things and I read a lot that the government is ready to support us but I am not sure it is the case. There is a difference when you talk and when you do,” – Those are the sentiments of Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne.
Migne wants the team to camp in France at least three weeks to the tournament in Egypt but as days go by, the probability that the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) will be able to pay for the training facility in time grows dimmer.
FKF boss Nick Mwendwa last week intimated that the government had approved a Sh244mn budget for the team’s preparations for the Cup of Nations, but according to Migne, that promise is yet to be fulfilled.
“We had some difficulties with the plane. It seems maybe one detail for the government but in the high level, it is the small details that are important. We didn’t prepare well about this aspect,” Migne said.
He added; “Medical, on the field it was really good. The hotel (Safari Park) it is fantastic to be here. But it’s not enough for the plane if three days before the game it is impossible to know which plane we will take. It is not good. I think it is a lack of respect for the national team.”
Stars travelled early Thursday morning to Accra, but the confirmations of the travel itinerary took time and this irked the French coach, known to be a man keen on proper planning and adherence to set targets.
Worrying him hugely now is the proposed camp to France and he says it would be a disaster if the country failed to actualize the plan of setting up the European camp where three or four friendly matches are planned.
“I can have preparations here, but I think it will be a lack of respect to the players because it will be difficult to get a friendly match here. You have to respect AFCON. We have not qualified in 15 years and now we are here,” the tactician stated.
But, he says he wants to fight to remain in the country and actualize the dream of playing in the Qatar World Cup in 2022, saying he has a special relationship with the players and that is what keeps him motivated to continue working here.
“I am a professional. I currently have a contract here and I have to respect it. Clubs and national teams have been calling to ask whether I could be interested. I expect things will be normalized for the future. Since 10 months when I came here, it is not the case. I just hope I am not infront of some liars,” the tactician offered.
“Step by step we are trying to discover young players for the future. For CHAN and Olympics team we have a good group of talented players but what’s important is to work with them constantly and develop them. If we can do that at least once a week I think we have a chance,” he said.
“We are far but I am sure if we can organize something and if I can work with these players we can do something. It will take time but in about four years we will have a fantastic future for Kenya and we can compete to be among the top 10 in Africa,”
“Very soon it will be nine teams from Africa in the World Cup and if we are top 10, it means we are very close. It is a long way but we can’t waste time. We need to start now. I have been pushing for that and it’s not easy,” the tactician stated.
But meanwhile, even amidst all the trouble, Migne will look to conclude the qualification phase for June’s Cup of Nations with victory against Ghana in Accra on Saturday. But, he says that match will be an opportunity for him to assess the squad for the final tournament.
“I wrote down a list and I have probably 35 names of players that I will use in the AFCON. But we must reduce that to 26 for the Camp and 23 for the final tournament. But I expect to have some answer on some players when we play Ghana,”
“It will be a good opportunity to have some new answer for some players who didn’t play with me since I am here maybe David Owino, Massoud (Juma), Mbamba (Christopher)… I will have some answer because I am also thinking of my final list,” he says.
Adding; “But we have to go there and compete and it will be important to have a result because of the ranking which will be used for the determination of either pot three or four during the AFCON draw. But more important for me, is AFCON.”