Former Harambee Stars coach Jacob “Ghost” Mulee has faulted Sebastien Migne’s decision to include two goalkeepers from Kariobangi Sharks, saying that this only serves to deny another deserving local goalkeeper a chance in the team.
He has, however, also expressed optimism that Kenya will make it to the second round of the tournament if Migne can get his tactics right.
Mulee took Kenya to the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations where they exited at the group stages with two losses and one win.
Migne released a provisional list of 30 players last Tuesday, and his selection was met with criticism from fans and many local football pundits.
The exclusion of Zesco United forward, Jesse Were, who is the current top scorer in the Zambian top flight league, and who is the all-time highest scorer for Zesco United, elicited sharp reactions.
Many felt that Were, who has one goal in 26 national team caps, should have been given a chance based on his current riveting form.
The fact that he was left out at the expense of Masoud Juma, who has not played any competitive match in the last six months, left many local football supporters riled up.
The other thing that has struck a sore nerve is the addition of goalkeepers Brian Bwire and John Oyiemba, both of Kariobangi Sharks.
“Migne has named a very good squad, very balanced, and I think this is the squad that can make it to the knockout stage. If I was in his position I would have named the exact same players, but without the two goalkeepers from Kariobangi Sharks.
“I have heard him explain that he will take only one of the two to France, and that he is thinking about the future. All that is important, but you just can’t restrict matters to only one side. We have only 34 matches every season and you can’t afford to change goalkeepers week in, week out. I think his move has locked out another deserving goalkeeper who features regularly for his team,” he said.
“As a coach I don’t believe anybody has any influence on the national team selection. Especially with Migne.
Stars are scheduled to travel to France on May 31, play two friendly matches against Madagascar and Gambia on June 7 and June 15 respectively before jetting out of the country for Egypt on June 19.
Kenya’s first match will be against Algeria on June 23 in Cairo, before they take on Tanzania in their second match four days later.
The game between Harambee Stars and Senegal will be the last group C match on July 1, and all, group matches will be staged at the 30,000-seater 30 June stadium in Cairo.