Burundian Egyptian coach Lofty Naseem has now trained his eyes on next weekends CHAN first round tournament match against Kenya's Harambee Stars after his team was ousted from the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup by Zanzibar.
Naseem was disappointed with his team s exit at the regional championships . Burundi put up memorable performances in the group stage, beating Tanzania and Sudan posting a perfect record on their way to the group stages.
"There are teams who come to this tournament ready to win at all costs and like you saw against Zanzibar, they were only playing for penalties and luckily for them, it worked in their favour. For us, we wanted to use this tournament to prepare our younger players and give them more experience," explained Naseem.
"But at least, I am happy that my young players have played four international matches and have gathered more experience for the upcoming task," he added.
According to the Egyptian, the Swallows have seven in their squad under the age of twenty and are the new face of Burundian football. Captain Ndikumana Selemani, who virtually carried them to the knockout stages on his wide shoulders but crucially missed a penalty in the shoot-out against Zanzibar will not be featuring in the African Nations Championships (CHAN).
"We have enough quality players to take the place of Sele," Naseem said of Ndikumana, who plays for Rwanda giants APR
Kenya's team for CHAN has been in camp for the better part of last month under the guidance of head coach Henry Michel. Under 23 coach James Nandwa is in charge of the Harambee Stars team currently playing in the regional championships