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Wambani hoping for seior team chance

Harambee Stars midfielder Anthony Wambani when he made his debut for the national team against Tanzania during the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup at the Lugogo Complex in Kampala, Uganda on December 8, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

KAMPALA, Uganda, Dec 11 – Sweden based midfielder Anthony Wambani says he hopes to use the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in Kampala, Uganda as a stepping stone to endear himself closer to coach Francis Kimanzi ahead of next year’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The midfielder moved to Swedish third tier side Vasalund IF from Bandari in the middle of 2018, but is yet to get a proper opportunity at the national team.

With the Swedish league having finished in November, Kimanzi called up the youngster to see more of him and also hand him a chance to impress at the Senior Challenge Cup.

“He is a good players and we wanted to see more of him. It is an opportunity for everyone because we want to build depth around the team for next year. I was impressed with how he played but most times, you cannot judge much from one game,” Kimanzi said of the midfielder’s performance.

Wambani made his national team debut in the opening day 1-0 win over Tanzania playing 85 minutes but wasn’t part of the match day squad against Sudan as he was hit with a bout of flu on the night of the game.

Wambani however believes he will do his best to ensure he endears himself to Kimanzi.

“The coach called me and because the league in Sweden was over, I decided to come and do my best to help the team. It is an opportunity for me to showcase my talent and if the coach will be interested in me, then I will be there in the upcoming games,” Wambani further stated.

He added; “Being here is a good challenge for us because there are very good teams and tough matches help you become better.”

His maiden season in Sweden has been injury hit and he couldn’t amass much playing time, but he believes playing at the Senior Challenge Cup will offer him more confidence especially as he moves back to club business at the start of next year.

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“It has been a good season in Sweden, just that I had a few injuries that slowed me down but at least I finished the season well and I am hoping for better things next season. I want to try and get to play more not only at club level but the national team as well,” he added.

Wambani played at Vasalund with compatriots Erick ‘Marcelo’ Ouma and Ovela Ochieng, though Marcelo has now secured a move to the top tier with Vasalund’s parent club AIK.

Wambani believes Marcelo’s move is a motivation for both him and Ovela to continue working so as to follow in his footsteps.

“He has posed a good challenge to us and it is always nice seeing one of your friends prosper and move to the top. Now we are challenged by him to work harder so that we get such big opportunities,” stated the midfielder.

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