NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 10 – Joash Onyango says he is determined to ensure Harambee Stars successfully defends its CECAFA Senior Challenge title, and notes he is motivated after being handed the armband to lead the team at the tournament in Kampala, Uganda.
Onyango has been on a steady rise since earning his debut for the national team in September 2018 during Kenya’s shock 1-0 win over Ghana in a 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifier in Nairobi.
His leadership on and off the pitch has seen him earn the trust of head coach Francis Kimanzi who bestowed the responsibility of donning the armband on him.
“I really feel happy to have been given this chance to captain the team. This is my first time ever playing in CECAFA and I am happy that so far we have started well winning the first game,” Onyango told Capital Sport.
He added; “My wish would be to see the team defend the title. We prepared very well for this tournament and we are working hard in every game to win. We have a young group and everyone wants to show their worth. We want to emulate the women’s team which won in Tanzania and also take the Cup home.”
Stars started their campaign with a 1-0 victory over Tanzania and will face Sudan in the second match on Tuesday afternoon. Victory in the game will assure Starlets of a place in the semi-finals, with the last game against Zanzibar set to determine whether or not they top the pool.
“We don’t know much about them (Sudan) but we will take the match as it comes. We have to remain disciplined tactically and ensure we execute the plan that the coach has for us,” Onyango noted.
Meanwhile, Onyango says the fact that they have many new faces in the team is a motivation in itself as it will ensure the team performs well with each player eager to show they should be in the senior team.
“Everyone here is working hard to break into the senior team for next year’s AFCON qualifiers. The coach always insists that he will give players positions on merit and that is why everyone is working hard here,” further noted the captain.