NAIROBI, Kenya, March 19- “I don’t want to speak much because my work is done on the pitch. We are prepared to go to Nigeria and make out country proud.”
That was how Harambee Stars captain Dennis Oliech saw it fit to emphasise his team’s mission ahead of what is their sternest test in their bid to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil when they face Africa champions, Nigeria on Saturday.
The French Ligue 1 AJ Ajaccio striker is nonetheless, confident that the Super Eagles will not ride roughshod over the Kenyans at the Port City of Calabar where the game will be played.
With the team’s sponsors, Kenya Breweries and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) bosses waxing lyrical during the send off luncheon in Nairobi on Tuesday, Oliech and the playing unit present were in the zone, with the enormity of the task ahead not lost on their faces.
The relief among Stars ranks was the zeal in which Celtic FC star, Victor Wanyama, trained with on Tuesday morning, allaying fears he would miss the clash due to an injury that forced his withdraw at half time during their UEFA Champions League second leg clash against Juventus.
In a bid to lift the spirits, the sponsors, through their marketing manager Anthony Esyalai, extended Sh7.5m ($87,209) in additional sponsorship to the team for their Nigeria assignment although details of how it would be appropriated were not divulged.
Belgian coach, Adel Amrouche, who will make his competitive debut with the team, was pragmatic as he sought to temper down expectations.
“We have a good team and we are ready for the match and the Nigeria game will give our team a good test but we should be looking to the future,” he added.
During Tuesday’s training session, Amrouche had the chance to see his entire line-up and his animation on the touch line was evident as he urged his charges to get their act together.
“We don’t know why they took the match to Calabar that is so far from Lagos where they said there were no stadiums; maybe it is a means of trying to scare us. We are not afraid to face them wherever it is,” FKF chief, Sam Nyamweya, bellowed.
“We are making arrangements to see whether the national broadcaster will air the game live but Oliech and his boys are ready,” he added.
Amrouche has made two alterations to his line-up Abdallah Juma being replaced by Bandari’s Aboud Omar and Paul Were replaced by Peter Opiyo of Tusker.
Keeper Arnold Origi and South Africa based Johanna Omollo will link up with their team mates in Lagos with the team departing on Wednesday.