Five foreign based players bolster Harambee Stars squad

© Harambee Stars

FOOTBALL Five foreign based players bolster Harambee Stars squad

Festus Chuma 21:58 - 20.03.2023

Seven other foreign-based players are yet to link with the squad.

Harambee Stars’ preparations for the upcoming international friendly against Iran have received a massive boost after five top-foreign-based players joined camp on Monday.

Defender Erick Ouma (AIK, Sweden), Brian Mandela (Mamelodi Sundown, South Africa), Richard Odada (Philadelphia Union, USA), Johnstone Omurwa ( Estrela, Portugal), and Alfred Scriven (IL Hødd, Norway) all took part in Monday work-out after linking up with the 19 local-based players who have been shaping up for the tie.

The quintet became the second batch of the foreign-based legion to link up with their teammates as head coach Engin Firat gets the boys in shape ahead of the friendly against Iran set to be played on Tuesday 28 March in Tehran.

Azam FC midfielder Kenneth Muguna was the first foreign-based player to join the team in camp after making the short trip from Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. 

Seven more foreign-based players, namely Ian Otieno (Zesco United, Zambia), Joseph Okumu (Gent, Belgium), Collins Shichenje (AIK, Sweden), Amos Nondi (Ararat, Armenia), Wilkims Ochieng (FC Koper, Slovenia) and captain Michael Olunga (Al Duhail, Qatar) are expected to join the camp before the team departure to Iran on Sunday, March 26.

Saudi-based striker Masud Juma has been spotted in town, ready to report to the residential camp at Kasarani.

Coach Firat has already hinted that soon he will convince several foreign-based players with Kenyan roots to don the Harambee Stars jersey.

“We need a better scouting system to find players who are available to play for Kenya and convince them early to do so.

These players have an advantage because some of them have played even in European national teams at junior levels so they are tactically and mentally ready. Other African countries are doing this and we need to do the same,” he said.

Kenya is ranked at position 101 per FIFA rankings released in December, while Iran is ranked 24th globally.

Iran participated in the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup, finishing third in a group comprising Wales, England, and the United States of America.

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