The pressure continued to pile to mount on Harambee Stars coach Sebastien Migne to unveil his provisional squad to allow the time to blend early enough ahead of the next month’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Stars will be making their fifth appearance at the continental showpiece slated to run from June 21 to July 19 in Egypt and pundits have opined that Stars stand a chance of reaping positive results if the squad is confined to a residential camp for long. Migne is yet to name his provisional squad for the finals and there are no signings of doing so soon.
The delay, which has been attributed to the ongoing domestic leagues, has left stakeholders guessing of who will make it to the 26-man provisional squad that will camp in Paris, France from May 31.
Former Stars captain Austin Oduor wants Migne to clear the air by unveiling the squad.
Oduor, a revered centre half in his youthful days, believes the preliminary preparation stages for the tournament have been superbly undertaken by the Football Kenya Federation and the government and Migne should follow suit as soon as possible albeit in a local camp.
The former Gor Mahia defender, who was privileged to play in two successive Afcon finals, has urged Migne to keep the unit which he largely used during the qualifiers with a few changes in order to enhance cohesion and positive results in the finals. Oduor, also known as Makamu, was part of the Kenyan team which participated in the 1988 and 1990 finals.
Oduor, who is a father to former Harambee Stars first choice goalkeeper Arnold Origi, has put his bet on Kenya to grace the second round of the showpiece should Migne begin his preparation early and stick to his winning squad. Origi donned Stars’ colours for almost a decade before switching his nationality to Norway.
“The preparations so far have been good as the team will train in Paris and issues money have been sorted.
“The remaining bit is for the coach to name his squad as soon as possible and hit the ground running in as far as the locally based camp is concerned before heading to France. “We are not preparing for a small tournament and we need to get everything right.
“The coach should be working with his players in camp for him to understand them and know how to use each and every one. He has to maintain the squad which he has been using and make little changes.”
With less than two months to the start of the tournament, Oduor is confident Stars will advance to the second round despite being pitted against tough opponents in Group ‘C’
Kenya will face Senegal, Algeria and Tanzania in the pool and Oduor believes with discipline and hard work, the Kenyan boys will seal a place in the round of 16
“Impossible is nothing in the world of football and Kenya should not be written off. We have seen big sides fall recently to teams labelled as minnows and I think we have a chance to proceed to the second round.
“The players should have unquestionable discipline and hard work for them to achieve the target.
“We have heard cases of players sneaking from the camp which has led to poor results and I want to caution the players to maintain and watch their demeanour.
“At the continental level, you have to work both hard and smart for there is no shortcut especially when you are coming up against favourites. It’s an opportunity the players have to capitalise on and do it for the country as well as showcase their talent to the millions who will be watching.”