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Stars coaches impressed at School Games

Harambee Stars assistant coach Nicolas Bouriquet on the sidelines during the Copa Cocacola National Secondary School Games match between Rift Valley’s St. Anthony’s Boys from Kitale and Coast’s Kinondo at the Hill School in Eldoret on July 25, 2018.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

ELDORET, Kenya, Jul 26- Harambee Stars assistant coach Nicolas Bouriquet and Under-20 tacticians Stanley Okumbi and Hezbon Nyabinge have been impressed by the array of talent on display at the Kenya National Secondary School Games currently ongoing in Eldoret.

The three coaches arrived in the Rift Valley town, mostly known for its athletics talent, on Wednesday morning, the second day of the school games.

“For us, this is what we want to do. Look at how we can build a team for the future and coming here was very important to us. We have seen a lot of talent which when nurtured will be important for the coming days,” Bouriquet told Capital Sports.

Under-20 head coach Stanley Okumbi says he has already picked out a list of almost 15 players who he says will be called in to train with the junior teams as they look to mould tem further from raw talent to future stars.

Kakamega High School’s Joshua Otieno controls the ball under pressure from St Antony Boys’ Silas ‘Kante’ Ogana during their National Secondary School Games match at the Hill School in Eldoret on July 25, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“There are so many talented players down here. I have seen many good young players from the Under-16 Copa Cocacola tournament to the Under 19s and this is very impressive. We will select a group and invite them to train because this will be a good start for them,” Okumbi added.

With the Under-20 team dumped out of qualification for the Under-20 African Cup of Nations, focus is currently on the Under-17 team which will play it’s African Youth Championship qualifiers in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania next month.

The team is already in camp, but Okumbi says it might not be possible to bring in new inclusions from the school games immediately as it is too soon with the names already registered for the tournament.

Action between Kakamega High School and St Antony Boys’ during their National Secondary School Games match at the Hill School in Eldoret on July 25, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Nonetheless, with upcoming youth tournaments next year, the tactician believes that sowing the seed early from the talent seen in Eldoret will be a step to ensuring Kenya becomes a force to reckon with in youth football.

The Harambee Stars coaches have a long term plan of seeing the team qualify for the next World Cup in Qatar in 2022 and the preceding year qualifying for the African Cup of Nations. Also to be given a shot is the qualification for the 2020 Olympics.

“It is these young players who will be important for that journey because then they will be between 20-23. If we start training them early enough, that will be a good thing for us,” Bouriquet noted.

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