Odhiambo: We can get to U23 AFCON and Olympics with current team

Ulinzi Stars goalkeeper Timothy Odhiambo believes the Kenya U23 national team as is, is strong enough to mount a serious challenge for a place at the 2019 AFCON U20 finals in Egypt and the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan as well.

After seeing off Mauritius in the first round of the AFCON U23 qualifiers, the team is set to proceed with the qualification process with an away game against Sudan on Wednesday 20 March before facing the same opponent in Nairobi four days later.

Great motivation

He says, on the Ulinzi Stars official website, that this call up is a great motivation to him, as it plays a key role in his continued growth as a player and goes on to note that the team, as constituted well capable of emulating their senior counterparts by qualifying for the continental showpiece.

“It motivates me a lot to know that there’s a top coach out there who believes in my ability and I can say I have enjoyed good mentorship from my club coach and the national team coach as well. This, I consider another great opportunity to keep growing as a keeper.

Chance to pay back

“Being in the national team from the U20 level has really helped me and for the trust by the coaches who have picked me throughout, I take this as a chance to pay back and I know as a team, with the unity and friendship we have, qualifying for the AFCON U23 and 2020 Olympic Games are very achievable targets.

“The senior team has qualified for AFCON, and recently the women’s team went to the AWCON. So now it is our time to fly the Kenyan flag and I trust that with the team we have, this is achievable,” he said.

Odhiambo, who played in the second leg of the first round clash against Mauritius, was called up alongside Kariobangi Sharks keeper Brian Bwire.