Nairobi — Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat has berated Kenya’s scouting system, saying it needs a major improvement if the country is to make strides in international football.
The tactician believes there is talent dotted all over the country, but the greatest stumbling block is the mechanism to identify and nurture this talent.
“Messi can be born here in Kenya and nobody will find him or tomorrow, he can be directly in front of us so it’s all about luck. I really don’t know the real potential we have because there is no limit,” Firat said.
He added; “In Kenya, the problem is there is no scouting. I don’t know who I will find tomorrow. In other countries from the U16, there is an overview about all talents and everything. But here you don’t have. For example now Moses (Shummah), two months ago nobody knew about him.”
The tactician says there needs to be a more elaborate scouting system especially from the grassroots and outside the capital to ensure the net is cast wider and the real potential of the country can be seen.
He was speaking as Stars held their final training session before travelling to Mauritius, where they will take part in a four-nation tournament. However, due to their late arrival, they will only play two matches; against Pakistan on Wednesday and the hosts on Sunday.
In his squad, he has included several rookies including Homeboyz striker Shummah, Nzoia Sugar’s Joseph Mwangi and Kariobangi Sharks defender Kevin Luke Otiala.
He will be missing several key players including defenders Brian Mandela and Joseph Okumu as well as striker Masud Juma who were all injured. Midfielder Kenneth Muguna was not released by his club.
“Compared to the last game against Iran, there are five players from the starting 11 who are not with us. It is a bit disappointing because as a coach you always want to have the same players to use but on another hand, I try to always see everything in a positive way,” the Turk said.
He added; “There are new players who can use this chance and work on it and I hope they understand this and use this chance to show themselves that they are ready for the challenge.”
For the four-nation tournament in Mauritius, Firat says that he wants to use the opportunity to build a team for the future, with the World Cup qualifiers starting in November while also having an eye on the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
“We have lots of players Under-23 and at the end of July, we also have CECAFA which the team can use to further show themselves and get the experience needed. We have a long term program and also focusing on players who can help us in the future,” the coach noted.
He added; “For me, I want to see if they are able to play well under stress. The national team is more of how you can adapt. There will be chances for everyone and I hope they can take it.”
Starts departed for Mauritius Monday morning.