NAIROBI, Kenya, May 5- Harambee Stars head coach, Adel Amrouche, has named for new faces in the squad of 17 local players invited to prepare for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier preliminary round first leg clash against Comoros on May 18.
Domestic league champions Gor Mahia and bitter rivals AFC Leopards dominate the squad that has seen the Belgian tactician once again include Ingwe’s keeper, Wycliffe Kasaya, who is yet to play for his nation at the expense of injured regular, Duncan Ochieng, of Sofapaka.
In a statement, Football Kenya Federation asked the call-ups to report to Safaricom Stadium in Kasarani to begin training Tuesday with the foreign contingent that will complete the 23-man team to be named later.
Lower division Kariobangi Sharks player, Hillary Otieno is the only inclusion outside the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) with fellow defender, Oliver Kipruto, who plies his trade with Ulinzi Stars also getting a maiden nod.
High flying promoted KRA have Geoffrey Kataka in with another midfielder, Harrison Mwendwa of Mathare United completing the new faces in the squad.
Captain Jerim Onyango, defender David ‘Calabar’ Owino and midfielder Anthony Akumu from K’Ogalo retain their places in the national side and despite their KPL woes; Leopards who completed a much needed 1-0 win over Tusker last weekend have most of the players in the squad with four.
James Situma, Jacob Keli and Allan Wanga are other Ingwe players besides Kasaya in Amrouche’s team.
The Belgian has kept faith with the bulk of the side that won the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup last December in Nairobi and will be hoping to lead Kenya to the Afcon for the first time since 2004.
Liberia or Lesotho await the aggregate winner of the Kenya-Comoros two-legged tie and further progression will see Stars join Group C alongside last year’s beaten finalists, Burkina Faso, Angola and Gabon to compete for a ticket for the 2015 Morocco Afcon.
Kenya has in the past beaten their potential Group C rivals on home soil in the race for previous Afcons or FIFA World Cups.
Goalkeepers; Wilson Obungu (Bandari), Wycliffe Kasaya (AFC Leopards), Jerim Onyango (Gor Mahia); Defenders; James Situma (AFC Leopards), David Owino (Gor Mahia); Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia); Mulinge Ndetto (Ulinzi Stars); Oliver Kipruto (Ulinzi Stars); Joackins Atudo (Tusker); Hillary Otieno (Kariobangi Sharks); Midfielders; Antony Akumu (Gor Mahia), Clifton Miheso (Sofapaka), Paul Kiongera (KCB), Geoffrey Kataka (KRA), Harrison Mwendwa (Mathare Utd) Strikers: Allan Wanga (AFC Leopards), Jacob Keli (AFC Leopards).