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No favours in selection, says new Stars boss

New Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne after being unveiled on May 3, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 3- New Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne has warned players, both local and foreign based, that they have to earn their place in the team and there will be no favors in selection regardless of name or stature.

Migne speaking to Capital Sport on the sidelines of his unveiling by the Football Kenya Federation on Thursday morning, said that the door of the national team is open for exit and entrance, but all that will be determined by the performance on the pitch.

“For the future, nobody is sure to be in the selection with me. But, you have some reality in football that if you play for Tottenham sure, you are not far to be in selection and that is true. But, for both local and foreign players, you have to show me on the pitch,” the tactician said.

He has also breathed some life to local based players who often feel overlooked in favor of their foreign based colleagues and says he will highly consider them for future assignments.

He has at the same time said he will organize a training camp with a group of local players under the help of the local coaches to understand their abilities and open up his exposure to local football.

“It is one of the things that Claude (Le Roy) taught me that sometimes you have to believe in the local talent.  In Congo when we reached the quarter final of the Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea, we had three of the four defenders being local based. Here, we have a good blend of both foreign and local players so we will get a good team,” the coach further explained.

The 45-year old Frenchman was the immediate former head coach of the Congo national team and resigned in March when the interest from Kenya arose.

He has worked with his fellow Frenchman Le Roy and also had a stint with the DR Congo Under-20 team.

New Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne addresses the press alongside Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa before being unveiled on May 3, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“I am happy to be here because it is a new country with a new challenge. The main reason I agreed to come here is because I saw the potential of the team. I remember because I was the assistant when Kenya drew 1-1 with Congo with Olunga scoring and I saw the behavior of the team was interesting,” the coach revealed.

“I have been following the team also and I thought to myself Kenya has real potential,” added the tactician.

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Migne comes in on a three-year contract which will culminate with the 2021 African Cup of Nations and he has been given a target to get to at least one of those two.

His assignment starts with the qualifiers for 2019 with Ghana lying in wait in September.

He says there is a possibility of qualifying for the 2019 showpiece in Cameroon and also affirms he is 100 percent confident the team will qualify for the 2021 event.

“I am sure we can try and qualify for the next AFCON but for sure, 2021 we have to be there,” Migne said.

New Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne gets a signed ball from Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa after being unveiled on May 3, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“It is a shame that you started by losing to Sierra Leone. It is a real problem, but now we have to try and win the remaining games. Ethiopia especially is very important because if we get six points and then get something against Sierra Leone, it can be good,” the coach noted.

“I don’t wait to wait for long until 2021 so we will try qualify for this one. We start with Ghana and I know them because we played against them in World Cup qualifiers. It will be a tough match but we will try to get a result especially at home,” he further noted.

Having followed the team for a while, he has picked up the team’s defense as an area of concern, noting he isn’t happy with the concession rate.

“I need to have these friendly games to meet the players and look at what we need to work on,” the coach further said.

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