Thobias Ndungu: The forgotten Danish defender who almost wore Harambee Stars jersey

Thobias Ndungu: The forgotten Danish defender who almost wore Harambee Stars jersey

Festus Chuma 18:40 - 11.07.2024

During preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations, Danish defender Thobias Ndungu was close to joining Kenya's national team, Harambee Stars.

Seven years ago, then FKF CEO Robert Muthomi tweeted that the federation was finalizing details to have Denmark-born defender Thobias Ndungu switch his allegiance to Kenya.

Ndungu, then in his early 20s, was a versatile defender playing primarily as a right-back but also capable of performing defensive duties as a center-back.

In August 2017, Kenya was in the midst of preparing for the Africa Cup of Nations, and there was palpable excitement around the prospect of Ndungu joining the national team.

Muthomi tweeted, "Recently Met with Thobias Ndungu of Danish top division side Fremand Amager and discussed the possibility of him representing Kenya. This evening in Copenhagen," as reported by Michezo Afrika.

However, despite the initial excitement, Ndungu never got the chance to play for Kenya.

The story did not garner significant attention from the local media, and Ndungu's potential switch to the Harambee Stars faded into obscurity.

The player has since retired from professional football, and his last club was BK Fremad Amager.

Since then, his whereabouts have remained unknown.

Pulse Sports has since established that Ndungu did indeed receive an invitation to play for Kenya, and all the necessary documents were in order.

However, an untimely injury derailed his plans as at the age of 24, Ndungu was preparing for his scheduled trip and debut with Kenya's national team in September.

"It's really bitter to miss those two games in September (2007), but I just have to wait until the spring and hope there's a spot for me then," Ndungu lamented at the time.

Ndungu's football journey began at FC Copenhagen on September 22, 2010, in a league match against Viby IF.

His potential was evident early on, leading to a loan move to Norway’s Bodø/Glimt in August 2011 for the remainder of the season.

He then joined HB Køge in July 2012 on a one-year contract which he extended to three seasons due to his impressive performances.

In 2014, Ndungu joined Academic Bold Club, where he played three matches before heading to the USA to join the Westchester Flames PDL team.

His career took another turn when he relocated to Europe to join Norwegian side HamKam in 2016 where he played for one season before returning home to join Fremand Amager.

During his career, Ndungu was capped nine times for the Danish national team, with four appearances for Denmark U18 and five for Denmark U19 teams.

Despite his talent and international experience at youth levels his dream of representing Kenya on the senior stage was never realized.