alexa How French fortunes are rubbing Harambee Stars the right way - Daily Nation

How French fortunes are rubbing Harambee Stars the right way

Monday June 10 2019

Harambee Stars foward Michael Olunga gestures during a training session at the Marcousis Cedex pitch in Paris, France on July 8, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY |

Harambee Stars foward Michael Olunga gestures during a training session at the Marcousis Cedex pitch in Paris, France on July 8, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY |  

DAVID KWALIMWA
By DAVID KWALIMWA
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The serene environment, dominated by a lavish surrounding and well-kempt training grounds at the Marcousis Cedex pitch, just outside Paris in France, seems to have done the trick to motivate Harambee Stars players.

Football Kenya Federation — upon recommendation from French coach Sebastian Migne — set up a three-week camp for Stars at this location to prepare for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

This venture has cost the federation a significant chunk of the Sh244 million budget to prepare the side for the continental showpiece, and the initial feedback is that it is worth all that.

"I am impressed with the facilities here, especially the gymnasium and state of the pitch," said Harambee Stars vice-captain Musa Mohammed on phone from Paris.

"I now understand why most players in Europe remain fit for 90-minutes and why we witness an attractive brand of football while watching on TV."

An equally impressed Sports CS Amina Mohammed toured the facility on Friday and was quoted on the FKF website saying: "I am meeting (world governing body) Fifa officials here and will look to convince them to build us such a facility back home."

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Located on a reported 25-acre piece of land, the camp also houses the French National Rugby Excellence Centre, where the famed French national team popularly known as Les Bleus train.

According to information on French Rugby Federation website, the site has 18-training pitches, a modern gym, entertainment hall, six dining halls, 160 rooms, private lounges, roll of honours, auditorium among other facilities.

Stars players have been paired up in rooms with each room plastered with a placard showing a message from Migne that states: "To obtain what you never had, be ready to do what you never did."
Another message emblazoned on an FKF banner at the hotel's entrance reads: "Make your life a dream. Make your dream a reality."

Stars beat Madagascar 1-0 in an international friendly match at the Stade Robert Bobin in Paris on Friday and expected to remain at the camp until June 19, before departing directly for Egypt.

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