The team touched down at OR Tambo International airport in Johannesburg on Tuesday noon before they were driven to Pretoria where the 12-day camp will be held.
“We are grateful that we arrived safely and it’s my hope that this is going to be a successful outing for these young talents,” said coach Arthur Opiyo.
The Kenyan team will be joined by other players from Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Swaziland, Mauritius and Lesotho.
“We have made it here not only to enjoy ourselves but bring the trophy to Kenya because we can,” said Haron Nyakha, the team’s captain.
“The team spirit is high and so is the desire to win. I have a feeling we will emerge tops because we are all psyched up for this,” added Nyakha who is the only player in the squad who has been to South Africa before.
The 16 Kenyan players include goalkeeping duo Edwin Mukolwe and Stephen Ogweno, defenders Christopher Oruchum, Sadam Abdulahi, Kevin Otieno and James Mazembe.
Midfielders Nyakha, Eugene Moses, Ahmed Mahfudh, Geoffrey Alwala, Ramadhan Abdulmalik, Mohammed Said, Castro Mwaura, Alfred Wekesa in addition to strikers, Ibrahim Moge and Omar Mwinyi complete the squad.
Ahmed Mahfudh who was the COPA Coca-Cola player of the tournament at the national finals has also set his eyes on achieving the same feat during the 12-day long tournament.
“I emerged the top player in Kenya in spite of some very stiff competition,” noted the midfield talisman. “I want to help my team win here again just like we did with Coast Province but am also setting my eyes on the individual award,” he added.
All teams at the camp were furnished with new playing kits which included a pair of white and red jerseys, a pair of polo t-shirts, boots, playing shorts, as well as a tracksuit, gym bag and a scarf among others.