Stars coach piles pressure on Zambian-based striker to rise to occasion with absence of Olunga

Harambee Stars Coach Sebastian Migne and striker Jesse Were training at Kasarani stadium ahead of their AFCON Qualifier match against Ghana [Jonah Onyango, Standard]
Harambee Stars coach Sebastian Migne wants more from Zesco striker Jesse Were.

Migne insists he has not made up his mind regarding the striker ahead of Saturday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ghana away.

Despite his brilliant form for the Zambian club, Were is yet to make an impact with the national team despite numerous call-ups.

He was a last-minute call-up for the current camp after Japan-based Michael Olunga picked an injury.

“Were has a good mentality but he has yet to show me that he can deliver at this level. It is a different ball game playing in the Zambian league and at the international level,” the Frenchman said.

He added: “I have not made up my mind on whether he will travel to Ghana. He has one training session to convince me that he can play on Saturday.”

The 29-year old forward has not scored a single goal for the national team in 23 appearances.

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But he has been very successful at club level scoring a combined level of 64 goals when he played for Mathare United and Tusker in the Sportpesa Premier League (SPL).

He has scored 16 goals for Zesco which he joined in 2016. Apart from helping the Zambian club to dominate locally, he has also been key in helping the club to do well in continental football.

The coach has also defended his decision to camp in France ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations finals in June.

Migne said France provides his side with the perfect environment and hopes Football Kenya Federation (FKF) can secure the camp in the next two weeks.

“There are many advantages of training in France and the most important one is weather conditions in the European country. Secondly, it is four hours from Cairo and so remains the perfect venue for us,” he said.

With delays experienced in releasing funds to the federation, Migne is worried he may lose the opportunity to camp in the European country.

“We have just two weeks to confirm and I hope it will be sorted out by then.”

In a related development, Harambee Stars are scheduled to depart for Ghana on Friday. This is after the government released Sh25 million to help with travelling.

The federation will receive the balance of Sh225 million on Friday.

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AFCON QualifiersJesse WereSebastian MigneHarambee StarsZesco