9 November 2012

Kenya: Michel Picks Side

Ulinzi Stars goalkeeper Jacktone Odhiambo was the surprise omission from the Kenya national football team, Harambee Stars squad named yesterday by coach Henry Michel.

The Frenchman named a 23-man strong squad made up of eight foreign-based players to face Taifa Stars of Tanzania in a crucial international friendly on November 14 in Mwanza, Tanzania.

Michel maintained most players he used on October 16 in Nairobi during his first match in charge, where he lost 2-1 to former Africa champions South Africa. The only players who missed the South Africa tie are midfielder Jerry Santo of Tanzania side Coastal Union and Slovakia-based offensive midfielder Patrick Oboya.

The team is expected to start residential training on Sunday before travelling to Mwanza on Tuesday for the match.

Afterwards, Michel is expected to call up more home-based players into the squad for the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup that kicks off in Uganda on November 24th and the two-legged Africa Nations Championships (CHAN) preliminary round clash against Burundi in December. Odhiambo is expected to be recalled into the squad for the two tournaments in the absence of Origi and his fellow overseas-based players.

Meanwhile, Harambee Stars midfielder Victor Mugubi arrives into the country on Monday for the Tanzania friendly after playing a starring role for his Glasgow Celtic Club in their 2-1 Champions League win over Spanish giants, Barcelona.

Mugubi scored the opening goal and played 90minutes as the Hoops sent shock-waves across the world with the triumph over the team regraded as the best in the world.

His overall performance and the goal summed to increase his stock as top football teams in the world including English giants Manchester United continued to pursue his signature

FKF assistant secretary general Michael Esakwa lauded the 21-year-old for his performance urging him to keep up the same spirit while with the national football.

"We would like to congratulate international midfielder Victor Wanyama for the outstanding performance against European Giants Barcelona. He clearly showed that he is one of the best midfielders in action by overshadowing World Cup and European winning players in the Barca ranks and we want him to continue to work hard and keep the country's name on the map," said the statement from Esakwa.

Harambee Stars squad:

Goalkeepers: Arnold Origi (Ull/Kisa in Norway), Fredrick Onyango (Gor Mahia), Defenders: Edwin Wafula (AFC Leopards), Eugene Asike (Sofapaka), Geoffrey Kokoyo (Ulinzi Stars), James Mulinge (Ulinzi Stars), Brian Mandela ( Sanlam Santos, SA), Christopher Wekesa (Gor Mahia), James Situma (Sofapaka); Midfielders: Victor Wanyama (Celtic, Scotland), Jerry Santos (Coastal Union, Tanazania), Peter Opiyo (Tusker) Charles Okwemba (Leopards) Patrick Osiako (Hapoel Be'er Sheva), Francis Kahata (Thika United), Andrew Tololwa (Mathare United), Osborne Monday (Sofapaka); Forwards: Dennis Oliech (Auxerre, France), Wesley Kemboi (Western Stima) Moses Arita (Thika United), Ayub Timbe (KRC Genk, Belgium), Patrick Oboya (MFK Ruzomberok, Slovakia).

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