Jesse Were eyes rebirth at Harambee Stars

Injured Harambee Stars striker Jesse Were watches a training session at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on September 5, 2019 for their international friendly match against Uganda Cranes on September 8, 2019 in Nairobi. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

What you need to know:

  • Were was recalled to the national team for Sunday's international friendly match against Uganda by newly appointed coach Francis Kimanzi
  • Were is doubtful for the Uganda Cranes encounter as he picked a hamstring injury in Zesco’s first league match last Saturday, a 1-0 win over Zanaco
  • Kenya is using the match against Uganda as preparations for the 2021 Afcon qualifiers where they have been pooled alongside Comoros, Egypt and Togo

Zambia-based striker Jesse Were says he has no hard feelings despite being left out from the final Harambee Stars squad that participated in Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in June.

Were was recalled to the national team for Sunday's international friendly match against Uganda by newly appointed coach Francis Kimanzi.

The Zesco United forward says he appreciates the fact that former Kenya coach, Sebastien Migne, had a hard time choosing his final squad and insists the snub motivated him to work harder hence his return.

“I had hoped to represent my country in Egypt but unfortunately that did not happen. I know the coach had a very hard time choosing the final squad and therefore I didn’t really carry hard feelings, I was actually praying the team would do well. It felt nice to see my friends and teammates playing at such a prestigious tournament,” Were said.

“At the same time it was also a wake-up call for me to work even harder and I believe that is why I am back in the national team. I want to make use of this opportunity to score goals and help the team in every way I can,” he added.

Were is doubtful for the Uganda Cranes encounter as he picked a hamstring injury in Zesco’s first league match last Saturday, a 1-0 win over Zanaco.

“I am working with the physio and hopefully I will be ready for the game on Sunday,” said Were who sat out of Thursday's training session.

Kimanzi also expressed his joy on having Were back in the team. The pair worked together at Tusker where Were emerged Golden Boot winner with 22 goals in the 2015 season.

“He is an experienced player and having him in the team is a plus. He has a small injury but let’s wait and see if he will be available on Sunday. We have capable doctors in the team and it is good for us to ascertain the extent of the injury and what needs to be done since he is our player. It is also very important to have him in camp despite the injury. We are building a team for the future not just the Uganda friendly and therefore the unity and chemistry is important,” said Kimanzi.

Kenya is using the match against Uganda as preparations for the 2021 Afcon qualifiers where they have been pooled alongside Comoros, Egypt and Togo. Were says it is possible for Kenya to pull through.

“It is a tough group but if we win our home matches then it is very possible to back in Afcon. Egypt for instance are a tough team but we all saw during the recent Afcon that they are beatable. Nothing is impossible in modern football.” he opined.

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