NAIROBI, Kenya, May 6 – Norway based first choice custodian; Arnold Origi will miss the first leg of 2015 Africa Cup of Nations preliminary round qualifier against Comoros as Harambee Stars head coach; Adel Amrouche came under fire for omitting league top scorer Enoch Agwanda from his squad.
Saudi Arabia Al Taawon defender; David Ochieng meanwhile, is the only foreign based player in camp after their season ended with Origi, who last played for Stars last June, unavailable due to commitments with his Lillestrom side.
“He is a good goalkeeper who always wants to play for the national team so I prefer losing him for one game rather than having problem with his club.
“It’s a good chance for our local keepers, Jerim Onyango, Wilson Obungu and Wycliffe Kasaya to prove themselves since if they don’t play now when will they? If one of them performs better and takes over number one, well and good,” the Belgian said Tuesday.
Tusker FC defender Aboud Omar, was the latest call up to the team replacing Ulinzi Stars right back Mulinge Ndetto who is injured but will train with squad.
Amrouche came under siege for omitting Sofapaka forward, Agwanda, who has struck seven goals in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) as he kept faith with the strikers who won him the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup last December.
AFC Leopard duo, Jacob Keli and Allan Wanga are yet to register in the league while the former Sony Sugar forward Agwanda notched his seventh last Sunday in their 3-3 draw with Western Stima where he also set up the other two goals.
“Agwanda is in my books but at the moment we don’t have the chance to bring all players but I hope in future if we play more friendly games; don’t be surprised to see him in the team if he maintains the good form,” the head coach explained on the KPL top scorer.
“I have hopes with him but I can’t compare him with Oliech who is far much better. The problem with our young players they don’t keep consistency for example; Pattillah Omotto, I thought I had a wonderful player and all over sudden his form went down,” Amrouche told further.
That was a strong hint that record scorer and former captain, Denis Oliech, who is being courted by South Africa PSL sides after his French Ligue 1 club AJ Ajaccio went down, will be among the foreign players who will be named later in the squad.
He went on to accuse local players of showing inconsistency that is giving him issues as he strives to establish a core side.
“In AFC Leopards, it’s only James Situma who is in top form. Allan Wanga and Jacob Keli sometimes play well, sometimes they don’t; same as Gor Mahia’s Anthony Akumu,” the Belgian claimed.
“We are not going to underrate them since they played in a friendly match against Burkina Faso and drew 1-1.
“We only need to be more focused, determined and have the fighting spirit then the rest will follow. For now I urge all Kenyans to rally behind the team since they are our 12th player that we need most,” Amrouche said of the islanders they are yet to meet in any competition.
The foreign based players who include English Premier League side Southampton midfielder and stars captain Victor Wanyama, Oliech, Inter Milan midfielder Macdonald Mariga, FK Tirana’s Francis Kahata and Oman based Jamal Mohammed among others are expected to join the squad later.
Kenya will face the winner of the Liberia vs Lesotho preliminary if they overcome Comoros over two legs and should they progress further, a place in Group C of the final pool qualifiers featuring 2013 Afcon finalists Burkina Faso, Gabon and Angola await.