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Harambee Stars need to plan ahead

Football talk revolves around the great teams and great players. I have noticed that the names of some teams come up again and again and the Nigerian Super Eagles have to discuss Harambee Stars more.

Harambee Stars dared to dream in Calabar, almost causing a major upset that could have stunned the African champions. The dream came to a screeching halt in Nairobi when the Super Eagles perfected their dance getting all the three points that seemed elusive at first.

The problem with many federations is that they tend to look for stop-gap measures and dream that success comes only on a silver platter rather than with hard work, commitment and proper preparation. Nigeria were definitely not the African champions by chance. Stephen Keshi took a risk to bring in young players, who eventually won the elusive Afcon title. That is something to be emulated by many federations and coaches.

I was in the Nigerian camp in Kenya and was the first man to conduct a one-on-one Interview with Keshi. I was so impressed by the level of professionalism and mutual respect in the camp. The team was organised and knew exactly what they had come for in Kenya. At the end of the day they did not have to depend on luck as the effective preparations worked for them to get all three points.

On the other hand, Harambee Stars have shown great progress under coach Adel Amrouche as the level of the game and confidence of the players has suddenly gone a notch higher. However, to me, that is not enough. It’s now important that the federation FKF should start early to prepare for World Cup 2018 and Afcon 2015, instead of waiting until the last minute to be seen as busy.

It’s paramount for the federation to take stock of what their opponents are doing and get a head start by coming up with logical solutions and long-term plans that will come to fruition in the long run.

Nigeria had very high-profile friendly matches that helped shape up the team and that were planned months before. The FKF should emulate this as a case study for success.

It’s also important that the row brewing between veteran striker Dennis Oliech and his coach Adel Amrouche should be resolved immediately. Only dialogue can help this situation, which has threatened the stability of the team. Dennis Oliech’s impact on the team cannot be wished away.

Coach Amrouche is a good coach but I feel he should also tone down and talk to his players more often instead of always rushing to the media. This impacts negatively on the team.

Harambee Stars have a lot of potential but what is required now is consistency and proper planning.

Rome was not built in a day and thus we should not expect to get instant results.

Twitter: @bedjosessien

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