NAIROBI, Kenya, September 22- Six players have been handed their first ever call-ups to the Harambee Stars ahead of the forthcoming African Cup of Nations qualifier against Uganda.
Wycliffe Kasaya, Havenar Maloba, Johanna Omollo, Ezekiel Odera, Chester Okoyo and James Orundu were named in the provisional squad as newly appointed coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee rung the changes ahead of the October 9 clash.
There are also recalls for Ulinzi captain Stephen Ocholla, Kepha Aswani of Thika United Christopher Wekesa of Gor Mahia, David Otieno of Sony Sugar and Godfrey Kokoyo (Ulinzi), Crispin Olando(Tusker), Osborne Monday (Sofapaka) and Victor Mugabe(Germinal Beerschot).
Sofapaka provide the bulk of the side with seven players in the squad, Gor Mahia has four while Mathare United and league leaders Ulinzi have three players each players in the 29 man squad.
The biggest casualties are the Europe based duo of Arnold Origi and Robert Mambo who have both been dropped while there is still no room for Patrick Oboya.
“Arnold is one of the top goalkeepers in the country but he is just coming back from a serious injury and as such has not had enough playing time so we thought we should give him sometime off,” said Mulee.
“Mambo has done a lot for this country especially when I was coach but I feel he cannot make the standards of the midfielders called up to the squad.”
Mulee also confirmed that Dennis Oliech will skipper the team against Uganda, “He is the most experienced player in the team and his CV says it all. In addition to that he is a leader and often leads by example and is capable of handling the job.”
The former Tusker tactician added that a win against Uganda is paramount, “If we do not beat Uganda, then we can resign to the fact that we will watch the 2012 finals on television. We must win all our home matches to have a chance of qualifying.”
The team moves to camp on Monday next week ahead of the match against arch rivals Uganda. Kenya is currently third in the group with no point after losing its opening match 1-0 to Guinea Bissau.
Uganda are top with three points following their 3-0 thrashing of Angola who are bottom of the group.
Wycliffe Kasaya (Red Berets), Wilson Obungu (Sofapaka) Martin Musalia (Mathare)
Havenar Maloba and Anthony Kimani (Mathare), Julius Owino and Christopher Wekesa (Gor Mahia), George Owino and Edgar Ochieng (Sofapaka), Geoffrey Kokoyo (Ulinzi), David Otieno (Sony).
Kelvin Omondi (Gor Mahia), Crispin Olando (Sofapaka), Levy Muaka (City Stars), Chester Okoyo and Stephen Ocholla (Ulinzi), Osborne Monday and James Situma (Sofapaka), Macdonald Mariga (Inter), Patrick Osiako (Mjallby, Sweden), Johanna Omollo (FC Fola –Luxemborg), James Orundu (AFC Leopards)
Dennis Oliech (Auxerre), Victor Mugabe (Germinal Beerschot), Allan Wanga and John Barasa (Sofapaka), Ezekiel Odera (KCB) and George Odhiambo (Gor Mahia)