Debut call-ups for Bandari duo as foreign stars pull out of Kenya – Uganda friendly

Six players, initially named in Harambee Stars’ provisional squad for the friendly match against Uganda set for this weekend have pulled out due to varying reasons, a situation that has led head coach Francis Kimanzi to call up five replacements with two of them earning their first call-ups to the senior team.

The players called-up are defenders Johnstone Omurwa (Wazito) and Brian Otieno (Bandari), midfielders Lawrence Juma (Gor Mahia) and Collins Agade (Bandari ) and striker Enosh Ochieng (Ulinzi Stars).

Bandari FC defender Brian Otieno (R) has earned a first senior team call-up for Harambee Stars.

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They come in to replace team captain Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspur), Aboud Omar (Sepsi OSK), Joseph Okumu (IF Elfsborg), Ismail Gonzalez (Las Palmas), Bernard Ochieng (Wazito) and Johanna Omollo (Cercle Brugge) who all, save for Okumu and Wanyama, have pulled out due to injuries.

Okumu, who recently sealed a dream move to the Swedish topflight asked not to be included in the team’s preparations for the Uganda Cranes match as he is yet to have settled down at his new club while Wanyama has been left out due to a hectic transfer window that has seen him not appear in competitive action since leading Kenya at the 2019 AFCON finals.

First time

Of the five players called up, Agade and Otieno, who were integral in Bandari’s second place finish last season in the KPL as well as their return to the continental stage courtesy of their Shield Cup win, are earning their first senior team call-ups.

Joseph Okumu signed for IF Elfsborg just last week and has asked to be left out of Kenya’s squad for the Uganda friendly as he is yet to have settled at his new club (PIC IF Elfsborg)

Otieno, Omurwa, Juma and Enosh had been named in a 10-man reserve team as Kimanzi called-up his first squad since taking over for his third stint two weeks ago.

Stars will play Uganda at the MISC Kasarani on Sunday 8 September with the match part of the two teams’ preparations for their respective AFCON 2021 qualifiers.

Below is the team that is currently in camp save for China based winger Ayub Timbe who is set to link up with the rest of his teammates on Wednesday;

Goalkeepers

Patrick Matasi (St. George), John Oyemba (Kariobangi Sharks), Faruk Shikalo (Young Africans)

Defenders

Johnstone Omurwa (Wazito), Evans Kibwage (KCB), Joash Onyango (Gor Mahia), Brian Otieno (Bandari), Hillary Wandera (Tusker), Erick Ouma (Vasalunds), Amai Atariza (Bandari), Samuel Olwande (Kariobangi Sharks)

Midfielders

Francis Kahata (Simba), Boniface Muchiri (Tusker), Kenneth Muguna (Gor Mahia), Duke Abuya (Kariobangi Sharks), Collins Agade (Bandari), Cliffton Miheso (Gor Mahia), Lawrence Juma (Gor Mahia), Ayub Timbe (Beijing Renhe), Cliff Nyakeya (FC Masr), Erick Johanna Omondi (IF Brommapojkarma), Moses Mudavadi (Kakamega Homeboyz), Whyvone Isuza (AFC Leopards)

Forwards

Michael Olunga (Kashiwa Reysol), Jesse Were (Zesco United), Enosh Ochieng (Ulinzi Stars)