NAIROBI, Kenya, January 20 – The National Under-23 team began training on Tuesday in preparation for the African Junior championships and All Africa Games qualifiers.
The team will be handled by the senior team technical bench led by head coach Bobby Williamson, his assistant Musa Otieno, keeper trainer Mathew Ottamax and team manager Titus Mulama.
Kenya start their qualifying campaign against Egypt for the All Africa Games with the first leg set to be played away on the weekend of February 21 and 22 before hosting the return leg after a fortnight.
The eventual winner will then play against Burundi or Democratic Republic of Congo in the second round scheduled for April.
In the Africa Championships Kenya has been drawn against Botswana with the first leg away on the weekend of April 24 and 25 with the winner meeting Ivory Coast for the final ticket .
Williamson was impressed with the response of the boys on day one, even as he called on consistency within the team to ensure Kenya has a viable team for a longer period of time.
“It was the first day today but definitely I was impressed with how the players responded to training. They have been training back with their teams and their fitness levels are quite good. Today’s session was more of a familiarization, getting to know each other and looking ahead,” Williamson said.
“Definitely if we want the national team to perform well over a longer period of time, we should invest in the youth. This team has a crop of very talented young players and we should stick together more often, play more friendly matches, the coaches knowing the players and vice versa. Consistency is very important,” The Scotsman added.
This comes even as FKF say they will be planning for at least one friendly before playing Egypt in the All Africa Games Qualifiers. Kenya hasn’t been lucky before against North African opponents with the last time an Egyptian team playing a Kenyan junior side, the match ended 5-0 in favour of the North Africans.
Tusker FC left-back Dennis Ng’ang’a and Ulinzi Stars winger John Nairuka are the latest additions to the squad with Thika United defender Sammy Mejja being ruled out with injury.