Why Were might sit out Uganda friendly

Friday, September 6th, 2019 00:00 |
Harambee Stars striker Jesse Were during the team’s training session at Kasarani Stadium yesterday. The forward will miss Sunday’s friendly with Uganda due to a hamstring injury. Photo/PD/RODGERS NDEGWA

Football fans in the country may not be able to observe what’s up the sleeves of Harambee Stars striker Jesse Were during Sunday’s friendly match against Uganda as he is injured.

Were, who plies his trade with Zesco United of Zambia, is doubtful in the ‘Migingo Derby’ that is penciled for Kasarani Stadium as he is nursing a harmstring injury sustained in a league match against Zanaco in Ndola a week ago.

The talismanic striker, who has been a revelation for Zesco in the last three seasons, was angling to prove his detractors wrong after former Stars coach Sebastien Migne overlooked him for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) held in Egypt.

Were sat out of Stars fourth day of training yesterday and was expected to go through therapy to ascertain whether or not he will play, but it was discernible that he was a disappointed man following the unlikely-hood of not being fielded by head coach Francis Kimanzi.

“Of course, this would have been a perfect opportunity for me to silence my critics. I was not bitter to have missed Afcon and in any case, it gave my lots of challenges to work harder.

I must acknowledge the honour bestowed on me by Kimanzi by summoning me for national duty and I hope the players he will field will get the job done,” said Were.

The striker, who scored nine goals for Zesco out of 18 games last season, reckoned that Stars have a bright chance in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers despite being in a tough group that has also attracted Comoros, Togo and powerhouses Egypt.

“It’s a tricky group and the idea here is to re-examine ourselves after failure to navigate through the preliminary stage in Afcon and we shall make it.

Football dynamics in Africa have changed and I can say with certainty that a team like Egypt is beatable,” he added. 

Meanwhile, following the unavailability of top professionals like captain Victor Wanyama and Joseph Okumu, Kimanzi has resolved to give young, untested players a chance against Uganda.

“It’s a bit hard to replace some of these experienced players but then, this is a chance for the upcoming players to prove what they can do for the national team,” he said. 

With Wanyama out, Japan-based striker Michael Olunga has been appointed stand-in captain and will be deputised by Gor Mahia centre-back Joash Onyango.

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