Bobby Williamson admits he knows little about Friday’s opponents Ethiopia as the best of Kenya’s domestic talent prepares for the first leg of the preliminary round of the African Nations Championship.
Kenya hit the road looking to take a first-leg advantage as they seek to reach the group stages of the biennial tournament for the first time.
The competition only allows players that feature in a country’s domestic league to participate, giving the chance for some unsung heroes to shine.
Head coach Williamson has called up Tusker defender Lloyd Wahome after a four-year absence, while Robinson Kamura of Mathare United replaces the ill Harun Shakava.
Williamson has challenged his team to showcase their talent against a team he is not particularly familiar with.
“I don’t know much about Ethiopia but I know they don’t know much about us either,” he said.
“I don’t think they have many players who play abroad so they will probably have a full squad but I believe in the boys because they are very talented.
“It’s a big test because it will tell how strong KPL is. Teams from North Africa spend a lot of money in football, we don’t invest as much as they do and neither does Ethiopia.
“I’m looking forward to see if these guys are capable of stepping up.”
Kenya head into the match on the back of a promising 1-1 draw at Congo in their opening qualifier for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Williamson is now pondering his selection plans and warned Kenya they will need to be vigilant against a side who sit 24 places above them in the world rankings.
“We have a lot of talented players in midfield and upfront so it’s a big decision to make which way to go. I think we will be a little bit be cautious and start with one striker.
“I can’t make any promises if we will win, the most important thing is to stay focused and concentrate but if we get a goal or two it will be fantastic and I believe we can since we are injury free.”
Yohannes Sahle was appointed Ethiopia coach in April and oversaw his first win in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Lesotho in their first AFCON qualifier.
Ethiopia had previously won just once in 13 matches and will be keen to build on their new-found momentum.