NAIROBI, Kenya, May 27 – Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne is worried of the muscular injury picked up by speedy winger Paul Were just less than a week before the team departs for a three week residential camp in France ahead of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) next month.
Were came on as a second half substitute in AFC Leopards’ loss to Tusker FC on Sunday but lasted barely quarter of an hour before limping off.
“I am just afraid because of Paul’s injury yesterday; maybe it will be huge problem for me because I want to have everyone available and ready to be well in terms of fitness for AFCON,” Migne told Capital Sport after Monday afternoon’s session.
Were has however said he will be ready in the next two or three days as the injury wasn’t as serious.
“I felt my muscles become tight and just for precaution, I decided to pull out because the task ahead is so big and I couldn’t carry on playing with a threat of getting a worse injury. I am sure I will be okay. I have rested today and probably tomorrow I will be in training,” a confident Were said.
Stars are getting into the final week of non-residential training ahead of a planned departure to France later this weekend for their three-week Pre-AFCON camp. The team visited the French embassy in Kenya later after training as they build up for the camp.
Migne says he is impressed with the commitment shown by the platers in training and specifically singled out striker John Avire who travelled overnight from Sofapaka’s match against Bandari in Mombasa to make it for the Monday session.
“We are getting better and better tactically and I am happy because I have an interesting group in terms of behavior. Avire played yesterday and still managed to come for training despite travelling overnight. He wants to show that he is ready and has a desire to do something good for himself and for the country,” the coach noted.
He was boosted with the arrival of Belgium based midfielder Johanah Omollo who turns out for Cercle Brugge who joins Clifton Miheso, Musa Mohammed and Masud Juma among the foreign based players in camp.
Most of the others are expected to link up with the team in Paris.
On striker Masud Juma who has not been playing in Libya consistently because of the political situation in the North African country, Migne says the player still has a lot to work on ahead of the Cup of Nations to convince him to be included in the final 23-man squad.
“What he showed since the last week is that he can score and it is important for a striker. His fitness is not so good but I have one month with him and he will travel to France. We will be 26 but then I will need to reduce to 23 and that means he has to prove to me he can score,” he said.
Adding; “It is important to have that level required at an event like AFCON. He is on the way and I hope he will be ready. But he has the answer,” Migne stated.
The tactician has also called up two more players in his squad, Wazito’s Musa Masika and AFC leopards’ youngster Yussuf Mainge.
Though he says the two might not make it for the AFCON squad, he believes they are good for the future especially with the African Nations Championship (CHAN) coming up right after the Cup of Nations.
The tactician has also expressed his delight with Kariobangi Sharks midfielder Duke Abuya whom he says has improved drastically.
“For the first time today he was not shy. He became comfortable on the field and it is the reason I want to work with the locals more. There is a huge difference between the locals and foreign based players but I like their improvement and the willingness to learn,” he said.
“If we can have at least one training session with the players every week I think there will be bigger improvement,” the coach noted.