Football Kenya Federation has already prepared a team to compete at the upcoming African Nations Championships (CHAN) qualifiers whose draw was conducted on Thursday.
James Nandwa, who has previously held brief as Harambee Stars stand in coach before the recent appointment of French coach Henri Michel, admits the ground work officially kicked off early this year.
"The federation examined the CAF calender of competitions, and decided to assemble a squad with one eye on CHAN earlier this year,” Nandwa told Goal.com.
The team traveled to West Africa in the run up to the 2012 African Nations Cup, and drew 1-1 with Guinea before losing by a solitary goal to Senegal. Also, the same squad was drubbed 5-0 by Egypt in Qatar, but recovered to beat Botswana 3-1 at home.
And Nandwa, who is rumored as one of the assistant coaches favored by the Federation to work alongside recently appointed head coach Henri Michel, says the exposure gained in the build up matches will come in handy.
“The team has already gelled and the players know each other, I suggest some reinforcement from some old guards playing in the KPL be added, plus one or two players from the U-20's that lost to Egypt, am not sure what the new coach (Henri Michel) has in mind.”
According to the draw conducted in Cairo, Kenya is pooled in the Central East Zone, alongside Burundi, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
The Harambee Stars will kick start their battle for a qualification slot with a two legged tie against Burundi in the preliminary round.
The first match will be played in Bujumbura on the 1st of December 2012, with the return leg taking place in Nairobi a fortnight later. The winner of this aggregate tie will battle Sudan in March 2013, for a position at the tournament proper set to be staged in South Africa in 2014.
"I believe the task ahead, (Burundi and Sudan) is possible, but we need to adequately prepare for it in order to post positive results.”
Kenya was eliminated by Uganda during the qualifiers for the previous competition staged in Sudan.