Firat: Harambee Stars not fully prepared for World Cup qualifiers

FOOTBALL Firat: Harambee Stars not fully prepared for World Cup qualifiers

Festus Chuma 05:40 - 15.11.2023

Harambee Stars' head coach Engin Firat has admitted they are not fully prepared for World Cup qualifiers

Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat has openly acknowledged that his team is not adequately prepared for the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

With just two days remaining until the qualifiers kick off Firat expressed his concerns during a press conference held at a Nairobi hotel on Monday afternoon.

The Turkish gaffer did not mince words when he revealed the challenges his team is facing in their quest for World Cup qualification.

"I want to be very honest and say we are not ready for the task ahead. I would be lying if I said we are because we have only had a short time to prepare. I don't know, but we shall try to do our best," he said.

One of the glaring issues Firat highlighted was the lack of competitive matches for Harambee Stars over the past two years.

"We have gone for two years now without an official match," he pointed out.

Firat emphasized the time constraints he has faced since taking over as head coach.

"I've had a very short time to build a team, roughly eight months from March," he explained. During this period, he has worked tirelessly to instill his coaching philosophy and bring the squad up to his expectations.

One of the underlying issues contributing to Kenya's current predicament, according to Firat, is the lack of development in youth football.

He noted that young players are expected to join the senior national team with a certain level of experience and character, which can help them handle the pressures of international competition.

However, the absence of competitive youth tournaments and training opportunities has hindered the growth of potential talents.

"I'm not one of the coaches who will cry when faced with such a situation," he declared. "I have enough boys who can do an excellent job."

Harambee Stars will face their first challenge against Gabon on Thursday, November 16, 2023, in Franceville.

Subsequently, they will take on Seychelles on Monday, November 20, 2023, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. 

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