Kenya’s record goal scorer Dennis Oliech and UEFA Champions League winner, MacDonald Mariga are the high profile omissions from the Harambee Stars provisional team for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier match away to Congo Brazzaville.
National team coach, Bobby Williamson, omitted the duo from his provisional 31-man list that will be whittled down to the required number before the June 14 clash against Congo Brazzaville in Owande City.
Mariga has only recently resumed to regular football having been on the sidelines with incessant injuries but was unable to help his Serie A side Parma FC avoid relegation. Oliech’s career on the other hand has assumed the backstage since signing for Dubai side Al Nasr from AC Ajaccio.
The surprise call-up was Peter Nzuki who captains Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League outfit Nakumatt FC. Nzuki has netted four times this season for Nakumatt who are placed 9th on the log and was the only player whose doesn’t play abroad or in the Kenya Premier League that earned an international call-up.
Ulinzi Stars midfielder, John Makwatta, was also rewarded for his fine form having scored seven times this season. He will fancy himself playing alongside Southampton’s Victor Wanyama who will captain the national team.
Williamson had hinted he would include Gor Mahia forward Michael Olunga in his team and the Scot made true his word as the lanky forward was one of six players from the reigning champions who made it to the provisional squad. Others are goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch, defender Haroun Shakava and Musa Mohammed and midfielders Collins Okoth and Ali Abondo.
Lillestrom keeper Arnold Origi is expected to be the first choice keeper and will be deputized by Oluoch and AFC Leopards’ Wycliffe Kasaya. El-Mereikh’s Allan Wanga and Amazulu’s Paul Were lead the frontline alongside five other forwards picked from the KPL.
Harambee Stars are expected to play a friendly match against Iran next week Wednesday but the tie is yet to be confirmed. They will also take part in a five-nation tournament to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the June 6 Rwanda Genocide.
: Arnold Origi (Lillestrom,Norway), Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia), Wycliffe Kasaya (AFC Leopards)
: David Ochieng (Al-Tawoon, Saudi Arabia), David Owino (Zesco, Zambia), Haroun Shakava, Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia), Edwin Wafula, Jackson Saleh (AFC Leopards), Robinson Kamura (Mathare United).
: Victor Wanyama (Southampton, England), Collins Okoth (Gor Mahia), Humphrey Mieno (Tusker), Ayub Timbe (Lierse SK, Belgium), Bernard Mangoli (AFC Leopards), Peter Nzuki (Nakumatt), Steve Wakhanya (Chemelil Sugar), Francis Kahata (FK Tirana Albania), Anthony Akumu (Al Khartoum, Sudan), Kevin Kimani (Tusker), Ali Abondo (Gor Mahia), Mark Makwata (Ulinzi Stars ).
: Jesse Were (Tusker), Paul Were (Amazulu, South Africa), Michael Olunga (Gor Mahia), Jacob Keli (AFC Leopards), Allan Wanga (El-Mereikh Sudan), Eric Johanna (Mathare United) and Noah Wafula(AFC Leopards).