An overly confident Sebastian Migne jetted out with a small contingent of national team players Friday morning to his motherland France for a 19-day camp preparing for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt.
Football Kenya Federation profited from a vacancy in the French Rugby Federation’s Marcoussis Cedex complex in the outskirts of Paris and duly booked the national team for a boot camp. The location is out of town away from chaotic city life often deemed disruptive when full concentration is required.
Migne left with 12 players, mostly local-based with 15 more, who are plying their trades abroad, scheduled to check in on various dates next week.
Skipper Victor Wanyama of Tottenham Hotspur will have two days after Saturday’s UEFA Champions League finals in Madrid, Spain before linking up with Harambee Stars in Paris.
Japan-based striker Michael Olunga is only 15 games into the second-tier league with Kashiwa Reysol and will utilise special FIFA provisions to link up with the team.
A number of other players also need the FIFA provision to get leave from their club as their calendars are very much active.
They include fleet-footed winger Ayub Timbe, who plays for Chinese outfit Ghuizou Zicheng, and just recovered from a surgical procedure performed three months ago.
Sweden-based Ovella Ochieng and Eric Johanna are also in the special list that require FIFA intervention to leave their clubs as Scandinavian leagues are currently in session.
The same applies to untested forward Christopher Bamba of IK Oddevold. Migne’s goal is to qualify to knockout stages from a tough Pool C that has Algeria, Senegal and Tanzania.
“I’m confident that we will be ready to fight. We are not going to Egypt as tourists but competitors, and worthy ones for that matter.
I have three weeks with the team in a fantastic training camp where we can work twice a day without worrying over the weather,” he told People Sports Friday. “I have a few questions over some aspects of the team but in three weeks, I will have answers.
We have to be ready to break into the best 16 teams in Africa. Thereafter, it is knockout where anything can happen,” he added.
Certainly, AFC Leopards winger Paul Were is one of the questions the Frenchman is grappling with.
Were was on top of his game for Ingwe before sustaining a hamstring problem that has forced Migne to name 27 players instead of the 26 he initially intended.