After ten days of missed training sessions, the under 20 national team that will play Egypt in the first leg of the African Youth Championship set for July 28 in Cairo will finally be able to use the Nyayo National Stadium.
The Sports Stadia management Board, SSMB had closed the doors on the juniors over outstanding payments from the Football Kenya Federation, and Coach Stanley Okumbi now has barely five days to prepare the team.
The team on Tuesday turned up for their mid morning training but were denied entry after FKF met Stadia Board Management and worked out modalities for payment.
“Our preparation has not been good, it’s sad the national team could be locked out of a training venue for 10 days.
Out of ten training sessions we only trained four times last week,” lamented Okumbi.
The Mathare United coach hopes to play a defensive game in Cairo and attack more when the fancied NorthAfricans play in Nairobi two weeks later.
The team will play Sofapaka on Wednesday and Bidco on Thursday to gauge their strength ahead of the their qualifying match which comes as they look to emulate the under 23 team that beat Botswana 3-1 in a friendly played in Nairobi last week.
Enock Agwanda, a Sony Sugar striker who featured in the U-23 side and is also included in the U-20 squad believes that last week’s win over Botswana will help the younger squad beat their hosts.
“I will be playing my second match for the national team and Egypt’s trip will be my first with the team outside the country,” said Agwanda, a former student of Kodero Bara Secondary School.
“If I make the traveling squad I’ll give it my best to ensure that we come home victorious,” added Agwanda who played for Migori Youth United before joining Sony Sugar last year.
The squad, arguably one of the strongest ever assembled by the federation in the recent past has some of the best emerging young talents which includes London based Samuel Mburu of Pulse Premier Academy (London), Joseph Wanyonyi and Festo Omukoto both of Aspire Academy-Qatar and Danson Kago of Sofapaka FC.
Only Robert Mboya of Mathare United suffered a knock but is expected to shed off the knee injury before the team departs on July 22.
The final squad will be named on Thursday after Bidco game.
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