Nairobi — Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne says Friday afternoon's friendly match against Swaziland will be the first step of preparation in his journey to face Ghana in Nairobi in September in a 2019 African Cup of Nations Qualifier.
Migne has had a group of 24 local based players in camp from Monday and he will pour them out for their first test on Friday and he hopes the quality he has seen in training can manifest in an actual match.
"It has been interesting for me to know the players and have some few answers about them in few days of training. But the most important bit is in competition. Sometimes the player might be ready in training but it is important to see them in competition," the Frenchman said after his final training session at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies on Thursday evening.
He says he is pleased with the quality of the players and the improvement they have marked since he first had a session with them two weeks ago, though he reiterates there is a lot to be done especially in terms of raising their fitness levels to endure a 90-minute game with unwavering tempo.
"In few days of training, there is not so much we can do. But we have started the journey," the coach noted.
Migne had included five foreign based players in his preliminary squad but all of them have pulled out of the tie citing various reasons and they can't be compelled as the two games fall out of FIFA friendly dates.
The tactician, though disappointed, looked at it with a positive eye, noting that it will give him an opportunity to assess the local based lads better and hand them a chance to compete for places with their foreign based counterparts.
"It is a shame because I lose time to look at all of them. Ghana is just close by and we have little time between now and then to prepare well. But I must be positive because it will be a good thing to look at the local players who can compete with foreign players in future,"
"It is difficult for an international game not to have some strong players but it is interesting for us looking at the future like CHAN, CECAFA and also for the Under-23 who make a good number in the team," the coach further noted.
He further said; "We are trying to build something for the future and I am happy to have a start on Friday."
Migne expects a tough encounter from Swaziland who will be using the match to prepare for the upcoming COSAFA Cup and he says he knows a bit about them having watched most of their players turning out for Mbabane Swallows during his time in Congo.
"I know it will not be an easy match but the most important thing for me is my team and how we play, how we improve and correct our mistakes. If you want to win, you have to try play well with good organization," the coach added.
Meanwhile, Migne says he will incorporate all junior coaches into his technical bench as he looks to imprint a similar philosophy across all national teams. He says Michael Amenga (U17), Stanley Okumbi (U20) and Francis Kimanzi (U23) will all be part of his backroom staff.
During Thursday's training sessions, Kimanzi was present alongside the other French assistant Nicolas Bouriquett. Goalkeeper coach Guilleme Coffy and Osteopath Ludovic Breul have also linked up with the team.
After Swaziland, Stars will face Equatorial Guinea on Monday before travelling to India for a four-nation invitational tournament.
After that tourney, Migne says he will look to watch more local games including the National Super League, Division One and Division Two to search for more talent.
"Sometimes, you might not find a good team but good individual players. We will watch all the leagues, even on the streets to search for the good players. You never know where you will find them," he further stated.