The Standard – Kenya: Migne upbeat as Stars head to Egypt | The Standard

By Gilbert Wandera:


Wednesday, June 19th 2019 at 03:00 GMT +3


Harambee Stars defender David Owino shields the ball from midfielder Dennis Odhiambo during a training session in France ahead of the Nations Cup in Egypt. [Courtesy]

Harambee Stars wound up their training in Paris yesterday morning ahead of this weekend’s Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt. 

The team flew out to Cairo later in the afternoon with coach Sebastian Migne saying they cannot wait to start the competition.

“It has been a great three weeks of training with two good friendly matches and I feel like we are ready to play.  The two build-up ties have helped me to see a lot in the players and they have given me something to work with.

“There is excitement among the players and we cannot wait to take on the pitch against our opponents where we remain confident to pick good results,” he said.

Migne said every match in the group stages matters and they will fight through all of them knowing very well that qualification to the second round could be determined even during the last match.

“Four points will guarantee us a second round but in a worst case scenario there is a possibility to make it even with three points and so will fight to the end even if we start badly.”

Get the latest sports news updates. Subscribe to our SMS sports service by texting ‘SPORTS’ to 22840.

Harambee Stars open their campaign on June 23 against Algeria at the June 30 Stadium in Cairo before taking on neighbours Tanzania on June 27.

The team winds up their group matches on July 2 with a match against Senegal in a group that has been dubbed the toughest.

Elsewhere, Harambee Stars defender Brian Mandela will this morning undergo an operation on his injured knee after being ruled out of the tournament.

Mandela remained behind as Harambee Stars players jetted out to Cairo yesterday and he said he hopes to be fit to travel after three days and join the team in Egypt.

“The operation is scheduled for this morning in Paris and the doctors have assured me I will be ready to travel after three days to encourage my fellow players in Egypt,” he said.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa said they will cover the operation costs for the player as he was injured while on national duty.

“The days of players being abandoned after they get injured are behind us. We have left him in Paris under good care and he will be ready to join the team in Cairo later in the week,” he said.