Harambee Stars Coach Sebastien Migne has named his 27 man squad that will for France for a three-week training camp on Friday ahead of this year’s African Cup of Nation (AFCON).
The French tactician has again surprised many with his squad selection as he has dropped two top scorers from the squad. AFC Leopards’ top scorer Whyvonne Isuza and Kenya Premier League’s top scorer Allan Wanga alongside with Kariobangi Sharks second choice goalie Brian Bwire.
Migne was subject to criticism when he named the 30 man squad as he had excluded Zesco United’s striker Jesse Were who could have helped bag in the goals in Cairo. The tactician defended his decision saying Were has never scored for Kenya and he (Migne) did not think that the Zesco attacker deserved to be in the team.
Apart from Olunga, the only striker likely to bag in the goals at AFCON was on form Kakamega Homeboyz’s talisman Allan Wanga. However, Migne had other ideas of where he will get the goals. With Wanga out, Michael Olunga will be the man carrying Kenya’s hopes of finding the back of the net in Egypt.
The real shock is the dropping of Allan Wanga who despite his age, emerged the top scorer of the KPL ahead of the likes of Gor Mahia’s Jaqcues Tuyisenge. Isuza had a good season with Ingwe too but his dropping is not as shocking as Wanga’s. Isuza is also young and will have other opportunities.
Wanga did not take it personal as he wished the team all the best on his Facebook page. “All the best to those who have been selected to represent Kenya at AFCON. Make us proud. #DaimaMkenya,” the post read.
However, many fans were not amused and took to social media to protest.
The squad has 19 days to camp in France before travelling to Cairo for the tournament. The tournament is set to kick off on June 25th but Harambee Stars’ first match is on the 23rd.
Other four players will be dropped after the camp in France. Migne will announce the final 23 man squad after the training camp.
The provisional squad made President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.
The President assured Harambee Stars of continued support, saying Kenya’s comeback to the continental tournament marks an important milestone for the country.
Read: No travel to 26 countries for Kenyans without e-passports
He said the Sport Fund is the first step in ensuring that all national teams are properly funded and supported.
Goalkeepers: Patrick Matasi, John Oyemba, Faruk Shikhalo
Defenders: Abud Omar, Joash Onyango, Joseph Okumu, Musa Mohammed, David Owino, Bernard Ochieng, Brian Mandela, Philemon Otieno, Eric Ouma
Midfielders: Victor Wanyama, Anthony Akumu, Ismael Gonzalez, Ayub Timbe, Francis Kahata, Ovella Ochieng, Dennis Odhiambo, Eric Johanna, Paul Were, Cliffton Miheso, Johanna Omollo
Forwards: John Avire, Masud Juma, Christopher Mbamba, Michael Olunga