Last week I had a chat with Paul Were, one of the players that have made the cut into the provisional squad announced by Harambee Stars coach Sebastien Migne to do duty in Egypt.
The young man told me he is delighted and that he is going to give it his all. According to the player, it is at these kinds of competitions that players get to make an impression of football scouts looking for players for their clubs.
“It is a huge chance for me and hopefully I will get an opportunity to get a big club hire me,” he said.
Since the selection was made, there has been a near riot in football circles with Kenyans from all walks of life turning into coaches and saying the Frenchman made a huge mistake.
It is worth noting that the harshest critics are our very own Gor Mahia supporters.
Today I choose to be the Devil’s Advocate and say that I support the selection.
When he was given the job, the appointing authority was convinced that Migne could deliver. Just by qualifying, the man has proved that he can make an impact on local football.
So if he sat down and saw the kind of players he needs and came up with that list so be it. If he succeeds or not that is his call. I know a good number of the Green Army adherents have always had beef with FKF president Nick Mwendwa whom they believe leaned heavily on Migne like a Mafia collector to draw up the list.
Did Mwendwa influence the selection? I have no idea and as I have stated here time and again, in my line of business we deal with the currency of facts and since I have no facts that the football supremo influenced the selection, I cannot stand in the agora and make such a claim.
But in any case if Mwendwa actually influenced the selection and the team goes ahead and succeeds, won’t we all cork champagne bottles in celebrations?
As I sign off let me repeat an auspicious editorial in this newspaper after the announcement: The Frenchman’s selection was heavily criticised in some quarters for leaving out certain players, most notably Jesse Were of Zambia’s Zesco United and David Ochieng of AFC Leopards, and calling up the likes of Masoud Juma and Brian Bwire, a second choice goalkeeper at his club.
However, it remains the prerogative of the coach to name his preferred team for the continental assignment.
In any case, a coach, and a team for that matter, is ultimately judged on performance not who was or was not selected.
Bon courage Monsieur Migne!