Home-based players get the nod in Okumbi’s squad for DR Congo friendly
Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi has offered a host of home-based players a chance to impress during the team’s forthcoming friendly international match against the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Two English-based players, Brighton and Hove’s Jonathan Ayunga and Plymouth’s Josh Lenan, have however been dropped after failing to impress during recent matches against Uganda and Zambia.
Kenya will play the DRC, who are the reigning Africa Nations Championship (Chan), in the friendly match scheduled for Kinshasa on October 4.
The fixture should help the Kenyan team retain its competitive state after failure to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. The team has also been bundled out of the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.
“We have plans to slowly start building a team to compete successfully at the (2018) Africa Nations Championship,” Football Kenya Federation CEO Robert Muthomi told Nairobi News.
The new local based players included by Okumbi in the squad include midfielders Jack Bruno (AFC Leopards), Micheal Mutinda (Thika United) and Baron Oketch (Gor Mahia).
Others are Charles Momanyi and Bernard Ochieng who turn out for second tier sides Kakamega Homeboyz and Vihiga United.
At the same time, a legion of foreign based players led by captain Victor Wanyama, Anthony Akumu, Jesse Were, Brian Mandela, David ‘Calabar’ Owino and Micheal Olunga have also been called up for the match.
Meanwhile, Kenya has dropped three places to position 91 in the latest Fifa rankings released on Thursday.
Kenya Full squad:
Goalkeepers – Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia), David Okello (Tusker) and James Saruni (Ulinzi Stars), Defenders – Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia), Joackins Atudo (Posta Rangers), Eric Ouma (Gor Mahia), Collins Omondi (Posta Rangers), Robinson Kamura (Mathare United), Harun Shakava (Kakamega Homeboyz) and Charles Momanyi (Vihiga United), Midfielders – Kenneth Mugambi (Western Stima), Victor Majid (Chemelil Sugar), Bernard Mang’oli, Fredrick Onyango (Sony Sugar), Micheal Mutinda (Thika United), Amos Nondi (Gor Mahia), Mark Makwatta (Ulinzi Stars), Francis Kahata (Gor Mahia), Jack Bruno (AFC Leopards), Danson Kago (Tusker), Baron Oketch (Gor Mahia) and Eric Johanna (Mathare United), Strikers – Masoud Juma (Sony Sugar), Kevin Odongo (Posta Rangers) and Kennedy Otieno (Western Stima)
Foreign based players – David Owino (Zesco United, Zambia), David Ochieng (New York Cosmos, USA), Brian Mandela (Maritzburg, South Africa) , Abud Omar (Slava, Sofia, Bulgaria), Ismael Gonzalez (Las Palmas, Spain), Anthony Akumu (Zesco United, Zambia), Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspur, England), Johanna Omollo (Royal Antwerp, Belgium), Rama Salim (MFK Topvar, Slovakia), Ayub Timbe (Lierse, Belgium) Paul Were (Arachanikos, Greece), Jesse Were (Zesco United, Zambia) and Micheal Olunga (IF Djuargrdens, Sweden)