NAIROBI, Kenya, May 18 – Kenyan Premier League top scorer Stephen Waruru makes a comeback to the national football team Harambee Stars after being included in a 26-man local based players team that will face Angola in an International friendly match June 4 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.
The Ulinzi Stars forward has scored six goals in eight matches since returning from a two-year absence.
Also making his maiden call-up is teammate Daniel Waweru, Posta Rangers left back Titus Achesa as well as Wazito FC striker Joseph Waithera who is the only second tier player named in the side.
Sony Sugar’s Boniface Muchiri who has had a few call ups before, also earns a slot in the squad after several impressive performances with the sugar belt side.
Tusker FC defender Marlon Tangauzi who has been impressive since being handed a starting role for the Ruaraka based side has also landed a call-up in the squad.
Speaking to Capital Sport, Harambee Stars First Coach Stanley Okumbi has reiterated the importance of the fixture as he continues his search for the strongest team of local based players who will represent the country in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) next year.
“It is very important that we have this game because Angola is a strong side. We have already had one match against Malawi and we picked up very many lessons which we hope to improve on when we play this game. We want to give each player a chance so that in January we have the strongest team,” the tactician said.
Contrary to the last match against Malawi, this time the coach will have the advantage of fielding his strongest team as the Kenyan Premier League will have taken a break. Against Malawi, most teams including Gor Mahia pulled out their players due to league commitments.
“It was tough because other than missing many players, the ones who came in had just played league matches less than 48 hours prior and that is not ideal. I am hoping I will have everyone available this time round,” the coach said.
The Angola friendly will come just six days before the first round group matches of the 2019 World Cup qualifiers away to Sierra Leone and Okumbi has urged the local based lads to prove their worth to earn a chance in the travelling party.
The team will assemble in camp on May 28, just after the final round of the Kenyan Premier League first leg fixtures.
Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia), James Saruni (Ulinzi Stars), Patrick Matasi (Posta Rangers)
Bolton Omwenga (Kariobangi Sharks), Haron Shakava (Gor Mahia), Titus Achesa (Posta Rangers), Jockins Otieno Atudo (Posta Rangers), Mayeko Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia), Pascal Ogweno (Kariobangi Sharks), Robinson Mwangi Kamura (AFC Leopards), Simon Mbugua (Posta Rangers), Wilkison Marlon Tangauzi (Tusker)
Ovella Ochieng (Kariobangi Sharks), Daniel Waweru (Ulinzi Stars), Duncan Otieno (AFC Leopards), Ernest Wendo (Gor Mahia), Jackson Macharia (Tusker), Kenneth Muguna (Gor Mahia), Samuel Onyango (Ulinzi Stars), Stephen Waruru (Ulinzi Stars), Victor Majid (Chemelil Sugar)
Boniface Muchiri (Sony Sugar), Daniel Mwaura (Mathare United), Joseph Waithera (Wazito FC), Masita Masuta (Nzoia Sugar), Masoud Musa (Kariobangi Sharks)