Nairobi News

SportsWhat's Hot

Harambee Stars begin herculean task to revive 2017 Afcon hopes

Stanley Okumbi on Tuesday began work as Harambee Stars coach with a rigorous two sessions a day workout and with a promise to resuscitate Kenya’s bleak prospects of featuring at the 2017 African Cup of Nation finals.

A total of 26 players were taken through a marathon three- hour workout at the Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani with all members of the backroom staff heavily involved.

Fitness coach Mike Igendia, recently drafted to the backroom staff to work on the boys fitness, was also in attendance checking the players’ physical conditions while assistant coach Musa Otieno supervised the running drills.


And the youthful Okumbi said that Stars need to get maximum points out of the remaining four fixtures if they are to fulfil a dream of featuring at the biennial continental showpiece to be held in Gabon next year.

A total of 15 teams will qualify to play in the tournament joining hosts Gabon.

Stars find themselves in a precarious position in group E where they’re placed third on one point and a -1 goal difference after two round of matches.

Congo and Zambia are joint top on four points each, though the Chipolopolo of Zambia have an inferior goal difference.

Guinea Bissau whom they collide with in two legs in a span of four days are at the tail end of the group with a point.

Stars will continue with their workout at Kasarani before flying out on Sunday to face Bissau on March 23 at the 20,00 seater, Estadio 24 de Setembro in Bissau.

The return leg will be four days later (on Sunday), at the Nyayo National Stadium.


“The fitness levels is impressive and they (players) are ready to play. I have watched the videos of Guinea (Bissau) and I know what to expect of them,” Okumbi told reporters on Tuesday after the morning workout.

The Stars coach added that the 26 players in camp will be whittled down to 11 players. They will be joined by nine foreign based players who will directly fly to Guinea Bissau.

“We have a chance (to quality for Afcon) and we just need to motivate the players and the quality is the team is not bad,” he added.

Combative Southampton midfielder, Victor Wanyama, whom Okumbi said he will retain as his skipper, is expected to lead Stars to the crunch showdown against the hosts, popularly known as “The African Wild Dog”.