Zech Obiero, Aldrine Kibet, Jeremy Bissau headline Emerging Stars provisional squad for 2024 COSAFA Cup

Zech Obiero of Leyton Orient in action during the match against Cheltenham Town at the Gaughan Group Stadium, London, UK on April 6, 2024.©IMAGO

Zech Obiero, Aldrine Kibet, Jeremy Bissau headline Emerging Stars provisional squad for 2024 COSAFA Cup

Festus Chuma 07:35 - 19.06.2024

Kenya, replacing Malawi, join Zambia, Comoros, and Zimbabwe in Group B for the 2024 COSAFA Cup in South Africa.

Kenya has named a strong 35-man squad for the upcoming 2024 COSAFA Cup set to take place in South Africa from June 26 to July 7.

This announcement comes as the Harambee Stars prepare to make a significant impact in the regional tournament, traditionally dominated by Southern African teams, following their invitation after Malawi's withdrawal.

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The selection by Harambee Stars assistant head coach Ken Odhiambo is a strategic blend of youthful exuberance and seasoned expertise promising a dynamic and competitive team composition.

The squad's backbone is its U-23 players, who are expected to bring vigor and fresh tactics to the field.

Notably, emerging talents like Zech Obiero from Leyton Orient, England, Aldrine Kibet from Nastic Sports, Spain, and Jeremy Bissau from Brooke House College, England, are set to spearhead Kenya’s forward line.

Adding to the youthful roster, experienced players such as Anthony Akumu, who is currently unattached, and Johnstone Omurwa, playing in Portugal, have also been drafted.

The mix of experience and budding talent is expected to be a crucial factor in Kenya's performance at the tournament.

Goalkeeping duties will be shared among Bryne Omondi, Brian Bwire, Sebastian Wekesa, and Ibrahim Wanzala, who bring a mix of domestic and international exposure to the team.

The defense line includes Alphonce Omija, who plies his trade in Oman, and local talents like Paul Ochuoga and Boniface Onyango from the FKF Premier League.

Midfield sees a diverse group with players like Wilson Stanley and Shariff Musa.

Young prodigy Aldrine Kibet, alongside others such as Bajaber Mohammed and Austin Odhiambo have also been included in the squad.

Kenya was invited to the tournament following Malawi's withdrawal, providing a golden opportunity for the team to showcase its capabilities on a larger stage.

Preparations for the COSAFA Cup will kick off on June 20, 2024, with the team commencing residential training in Nairobi under the guidance of assistant coach Ken Odhiambo and his counterpart William Muluya.

Provisional squad

Goalkeepers: Bryne Omondi (Bandari), Brian Bwire (Tusker), Sebastian Wekesa (Kariobangi Sharks), Ibrahim Wanzala (Kakamega Homeboyz)

Defenders: Alphonce Omija (Dhofar, Oman), Paul Ochuoga (Gor Mahia), Boniface Onyango (Tusker), Geoffrey Onyango (Kariobangi Sharks), Hanniff Wesonga (KCB), Amos Wanjala (Nastic Sports Academy, Spain), Johnstone Omurwa (Portugal), Faiz Opande (USA), Baron Ochieng (Sofapaka)

Midfielders; Wilson Stanley (Kariobangi Sharks), Shariff Musa (Gor Mahia), John Ochieng (Zanaco, Zambia), Anthony Akumu (Unattached), Chrispine Erambo (Tusker), Aldrine Kibet (Nastic Sports, Spain), Bajaber Mohammed (City Stars), Alpha Onyango (Gor Mahia), Austin Odhiambo (Gor Mahia), Rooney Onyango (Gor Mahia), Patrick Otieno (Posta Rangers), Hassan Beja (AFC Leopards), Emmanuel Osoro (Nzoia Sugar), William Gatimu (Bandari), Fortune Omoto (Kariobangi Sharks), Kaycie Odhiambo (AFC Leopards)

Forwards: Benson Omalla (Gor Mahia), Josphat Lopaga (Dynamo Brest, Belarus), Samuel Kapen (Nairobi City Stars), Moses Shummah (Kakamega Homeboyz), Zech Obiero (Leyton Orient, England), George Gitau (Middlesborough, England), Jeremy Bissau (Brooke House College, England)