Harambee Stars have potential
Harambee Stars might have lost by a slim 2-1 against a well-oiled Bafana Bafana but it is important to acknowledge that there was great potential and I foresee a great future for the team.
New French coach Henry Michel sought to rebuild a team that has been in total disarray and it is only fair to give credit where it is due and point out areas that need improvements.
Harambee Stars made Bafana Bafana, a team endowed with resources, look ordinary, with some players catching the eye.
We have to look at both the positives and negatives of the team as Michel tries to remould the national team squad. The inclusion of fringe players like Wesley Kemboi, who came as an afterthought, was greatly admired.
Racing Genk's Ayub Timbe Masike was another new revelation with his speedy runs that made him an instant hero despite the little time he had on the pitch. In him I see a solid player for Kenya in the coming years.
Victor Mugubi Wanyama once again proved why he is the hottest property in Europe with every team seeking to get his services. The Celtic player was a head and shoulder above everyone and made the Bafana Bafana players look like small boys as he took control of proceedings in a classy display that left everyone amazed.
The return of defender Geoffrey Kokoyo could be described as fair but Eugene Asike had nervy moments that almost cost the team as Brian Mandela showed why he was poached by South African side Santos.
On the negative side, I feel Henry Michel’s benching of the most industrious defender, James Situma, was uncalled for as his services were sincerely missed, not forgetting the likes of Osborne Monday who would have played a deeper role than Patrick Osiako and Peter Opiyo, who failed to live up to the billing.
I was amazed at the effectiveness of young Thika United player Francis Kahata, who showed so much confidence on the big stage, playing in his debut. This will definitely be a player Kenya will rely on for many years to come .
I Still believe coach Henry Michel must take his time and go round the country as we still have some very talented players he has not picked and I would advise that instead of being given names of foreign players, he should be given a chance to go abroad and scout by himself. This will give him a clear picture of who he is calling to the team.
To the federation it is time to motivate the players and make them happy. This team can definitely make it far if given the right support and tools to perform, with many friendly matches being lined up.
I believe that nothing comes easy and as long as every stakeholder will join hands then we will see the growth of a very talented and committed national team that will be ready for the World stage. Kudos, Harambee Stars, to a new beginning.
Twitter handle @bedjosessien.