Pressure on Kenya to win Africa nations C’ships, AFCON: coach

Pressure on Kenya to win Africa nations C’ships, AFCON: coach

Agency News

Nairobi, Feb 20: Pressure is on Kenya to qualify for its first-ever Africa Nations Championships, and head coach Sebastien Migne is relishing the prospect of hitting two birds with one stone.

Already the Frenchman has seen Kenya break a 15-year jinx and qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt starting in June.

Now he says he wants to embark on the campaign to secure the country its maiden show on the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN), whose final will be in Ethiopia in 2020.

"It is down to belief and hard work. Kenya has talent and as we launch our campaign for the CHAN, we must always set focus on hitting the jackpot and qualifying for Africa's biggest event," Migne said on Tuesday in Nairobi.

Kenya is due to play Burundi in its first clash in Nairobi in March and a wait for the return leg in Bujumbura later in April.

"I have a good team here and I am sure of good results. We have experienced players too with us in the team and all we want is to win," said the coach.

The team held its first training in Nairobi on Tuesday in preparation for the upcoming Africa Nations Championships (CHAN) assignment.

With 20 local players taking part in the session, which is the first of weekly training sessions that have been lined up, the coach said he is satisfied with what he has and ruled out recalling veteran striker Dennis Oliech, who has returned to play at home after plying his trade abroad in Qatar and France.

The CHAN tournament is only open to players who are competing in their local leagues.

"We intend to have at least a session every week with the local based players. This way, we will be better prepared for the international matches," said Migne.

On the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Migne says he is keen to win matches in Egypt and secure entry into the second round.

"I can say it will be difficult to win the AFCON trophy because we might not have a lot of experience but our target is to go past group stages and leave a mark that Kenya is back," he said.

However, Kenya still has one qualifier remaining despite having secured a ticket to AFCON. Kenya will play Ghana away in Accra next month.

The Frenchman said he has received several offers since his good run with Kenya and wants his employers to pay for his service promptly.

"You should know I have received a lot of requests after winning against Ghana," he said.