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Old guards Oliech, Mariga back in Stars’ squad

Dennis Oliech and McDonald Mariga have been recalled to the national football team ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at home to Zambia in September.

This is despite the fear that the duo is not match fit, having failed to feature in any active football match for the past five months.

According to a source at Football Kenya Federation (FKF) who spoke on condition of anonymity, the two players have already been handed their invitation letters.

“The two may not be playing active football at the moment, but the coach needs their experience and exposure,” the source revealed.

MacDonald Mariga of Parma FC
Kenyan international midfielder MacDonald Mariga

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Other players who have received call ups to this all stakes clash are Zambian based duo of Jacob Keli and David “Calabar” Owino.

It is suggested that Keli – a striker at Nkana FC, and Owino – Zesco United’s central defender – will offer Harambee Stars technical bench an insight on the quality and composition of the Zambia national team.

Other players expected to feature prominently for Kenya in the match against the Chipolopolo is deadly striking trio Allan Wanga (Azam, Tanzania), Micheal Olunga (Gor Mahia) and Kenyan Premier League top scorer Jesse Were (Tusker), captain Victor Wanyama (Southampton, England) plus Ayub Timbe (Lierse, Belgium).

Stars require a win against the former African champions to remain on course of securing qualification to a first ever Nations Cup in more than a decade.

Coach Bobby Williamson’s team secured a credible 1-1 draw away to the Republic of Congo in the first game of the group played in June.