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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon: Sebastien Migne explains the inclusion of John Avire in Harambee Stars squad

11:28 GMT+4 31/05/2019
Francis Kahata Philemon Otieno of Gor Mahia John Avire of Sofapaka and Farouk Shikalo of Bandari and Harambee Stars.
One of the biggest talking points in Kenya's squad has been the selection of strikers for the tournament in Egypt

Harambee Stars coach Sebastien Migne has clarified the decision to include striker John Avire in his squad for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).

The Sofapaka forward was preferred at the expense of Kenyan Premier League (KPL) top scorer Allan Wanga of Kakamega Homeboyz. Migne named his final squad of 27 players that departs for France on Friday for a three-week training camp ahead of the tournament.

“The inclusion of John Avire in the squad is because I am also preparing a team for the future,” Migne told Goal.

“We must always think about the future if we want to build a strong Kenyan squad and that is why in almost every department in the squad I have a young player like in the defence where we have Brian Ochieng from Vihiga United.”

Apart from Wanga, Migne also dropped Kariobangi Sharks goalkeeper Brian Bwire and midfielder Wyvonne Isua of AFC Leopards.

“It was a good learning experience for the young keeper (Bwire), and I know he still has a great future ahead of him. He showed me that he can compete with the best during training sessions and that was the most important thing,” Migne continued.

“After the Afcon, I will have room for many players in my squad because we also have Chan that is a tournament for local-based players only. We must always think about the future and that is very important.”

Kenya have been drawn in Group C at the Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off on June 21.

The Harambee Stars will begin their Afcon campaign against Algeria, before meeting Tanzania and Senegal as they look to reach the knockout stages for the first time.

Goalkeepers: Patrick Matasi, John Oyemba and Faruk Shikalo.

Defenders: Abud Omar, Joash Onyango, Joseph Okumu, Musa Mohammed, David Owino, Bernard Ochieng, Brian Mandela, Philemon Otieno, Eric Ouma.

Midfielders: Victor Wanyama, Anthony Akumu, Ismael Gonzalez, Ayub Timbe, Francis Kahata, Ovella Ochieng, Dennis Odhiambo, Eric Johanna, Paul Were, Cliffton Miheso, and Johanna Omollo.

Forwards: John Avire, Masud Juma, Christopher Mbamba and Michael Olunga.