Top players missing in Firat’s Harambee Stars squad

© Patrick Matasi (Twitter)

FOOTBALL Top players missing in Firat’s Harambee Stars squad

Kiplagat Sang 20:08 - 29.05.2023

Pulse Sports dissects Firat’s latest squad and picks out conspicuous absentees.

Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat has named his provisional squad that will take part in the Four Nations tournament in Mauritius.

Again, his squad has opened a line for debate; the players sidelined after the latest call-ups and the omission of these players have left, as expected, tongues wagging.

The fact that some players, previously regulars for the national side, missed out on a large pool of 30 men raises questions about whether their time is up.

Eric Johana

The attacking midfielder has been missing in Firat’s squads.

At one point, Omondi was viewed as one of the best midfielders that the country would rely on for some time but a failure to attract the eyes of the national team’s coach almost points to one thing; his time is up. Could it be?

Gad Mathews

One of the consistent players for Gor Mahia as they chase their record-extending 20th Football Kenya Federation Premier League title.

He has been outstanding and is in the race to win this season’s Golden Glove, but his omission and inclusion of Simon Masaka of Sofapaka has raised questions.

Levis Opiyo

Another goalkeeper who is having a far better season in the local league.

Despite the fact that AFC Leopards are struggling, he has managed 14 clean sheets, and this points to an impressive individual run. A run that deserves to be rewarded with a call-up.

He was called up – and dropped – when Kenya were preparing to face Iran in March in an international friendly.

Brian Mandela

One of the experienced defenders Kenya boasts of but has struggled to catch the attention of the current coach.

The fact that he plays for Mamelodi Sundowns means he has the necessary experience and pedigree to help Harambee Stars at the back.

His experience comes from the fact that he has featured in the CAF Champions League, which guarantees him a stage to face top-level opposition in the continent.

He is also a serial winner with Masandawana, and these are the credentials needed for any team, specifically a national team trying to build itself into a competitive outfit.

Patrick Matasi

One of the most glaring omissions in the recent squad and his absence means that Ian Otieno, of Zesco United, is the senior most goalkeeper.

Matasi has been a regular figure in the Harambee Stars set-up since he starred during the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt in 2019.

Some pundits had pointed out that he was on his way to establishing a recognizable figure that would match or even surpass Francis Onyiso and Duncan Otieno.

Jonhstone Omurwa

He was a regular player when Francis Kimanzi was in charge, but the departure of the former Mathare United tactician saw his presence fade.

The center-back plies his trade in Portugal with Estrela da Amadora in the Portuguese second tier. 

Duke Abuya

The Kenya Police FC midfielder has failed to make the cut, although his club teammates Alvin Mangeni, Clifton Miheso, Charles Ouma, David Ochieng, and Abud Omar are in.

His experience gathered from Kariobangi Sharks to Nkana FC of Zambia should have made him stand out and be summoned, but that is not the case.

But only time will tell if his future with the national team is still intact or not.

Elvis Rupia

The former Nzoia Sugar FC forward has had an outstanding season in from of goal and is second in the top scorer's chart behind Benson Omala.

He has netted in the last two games against Ulinzi Stars and Mathare United and is one of the most inform forwards in the league currently.