It is not going to be easy, Kenyan legend John Baraza warns Harambee Stars

Stafford Ondego/Goal Kenya.
John Baraza was among the scorers when Kenya beat Burkina Faso in the last Afcon final match in 2004

Former Kenya international John Baraza has warned the Afcon-bound Harambee Stars that they will have to be prepared for a tough outing in Egypt.

The Harambee Stars, making their sixth Afcon appearance after a 15-year wait, have been drawn in Group C alongside Algeria, Senegal and Tanzania’s Taifa Stars.

“First of all let me congratulate the team for qualifying for Afcon once more. They have brought the love of football back into the country," Baraza told Goal in an interview.

"We know the qualifiers was not an easy journey but they have managed to join the finalist once again although it has been a long wait.” 

However, the Sofapaka coach has warned the team to expect a tough challenge in Cairo, picking Senegal and Algeria as the sides that will prove difficult to defeat.

He also advised the team to win its first two matches, saying it will be important in shaping how they will fare in the tournament.

“It is not going to be easy that is the first thing I am going to tell our national team players," he added.

"They need both mental and physical preparedness like never before. But what I know the competition at that stage is quite challenging as it is going to be tough and the players also have to be tough.

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“What will be important is to win especially the first two matches and if we manage that, then the doors will open and we can easily sail to the knockout stage.”

Baraza, alongside Emmanuel Ake and Dennis Oliech, scored for the Harambee Stars in the 3-0 win against Burkina Faso - Kenya’s first win at the continental showpiece during the finals held in Tunis, Tunisia in 2004.

Baraza played for Kenya over a 12-year period between 1999 and 2011, made 44 appearances scoring 21 goals.