‘Calabar’ back as Kahata gets boot

Monday, October 26th, 2020 00:46 |
Harambee Stars players David Owino “Calabar’ (left) and Victor Wanyama (centre) share a light moment with coach Musa Otieno in a past training session. Photo/PD/David Ndolo

Barry Silah @obel_barry

David ‘Calabar’ Owino has made a sensational return to Harambee Stars after more than a year out after he was named in Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee’s provisional squad yesterday for the Comoros Afcon qualifier assignment.

The experienced player who plies his trade with Zambian giants Zesco United was last on assignment for the national team during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations where he made a cameo appearance. 

Injuries have been a problem for the former Gor Mahia utility defender but he now gets a chance to redeem himself. His teammate Jesse Were, however, misses the cut once again.

The provisional squad of 41 also saw Sofapaka captain Elly Asieche and Wazito young attacking midfielder Musa Masika get their maiden call ups for national duty.

The latter is the younger brother of Harambee Stars winger Ayub Timbe while the former was tipped to be a star in the national team alongside the likes of Anthony Akumu and Musa Mohammed. 

Surprise exclusion

A surprise exclusion however is that of Francis Kahata of Simba SC  and 20-year-old  Clarke Oduor of English Championship side Barnsley FC despite both having minutes in the recent 2-1 win over Zambia in an international friendly with the latter only making a debut for Harambee Stars.

The usual suspects of Captain Victor Wanyama, J-League top scorer Michael Olunga, and Belgium based Johanna Omollo, who missed out on the friendly match against Zambia, have also been called upon for the crucial qualifier.

Gor Mahia’s rookie forward Benson Omala,Tusker goalkeeper Robert Mboya and Bandari midfield lynchpin Hassan Abdallah have also been included in the squad.

Local-based players are expected to kick off non-residential training on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, while their foreign-based counterparts are set to start checking in on November 2, 2020.

The team, then, shall have been trimmed to the final 20 that will do duty for Kenya.

The first leg will be played at the Moi Sports Centre, Kasarani, on November 11, 2020 at 7pm, under floodlights, while the second leg has been slated for November 15, 2020 away.

Coach Mulee has also recalled experienced Finland-based goalkeeper Arnold Origi in a move aimed at adding a touch of experience to the team. Origi who plies his trade with Finnish top-flight side HIFK last played for Harambee Stars five years ago following his move to get a Norwegian citizenship.

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