DENMARK-based Brian Mathews has been drafted into the men’s national handball team scheduled to leave today for the 22nd edition of the African Cup of Nations Cairo, Egypt.
The event will also act as Rio Olympic Games qualifier. Mathews, who was part of the team that featured in last year’s All Africa Games in Brazzaville, Congo that failed to go past group stages is expected to link up with team in the North Africa country.
Kenya Handball Federation (KHF) secretary general Nderitu Gikaria, said most of the players in the squad have represented the country in previous International competitions and they are hopeful of good results.
“Most of these players have participated in the previous tournaments and therefore they know what to do. They have the exposure and experience and so we are hopeful of good results,” said the official.
He added, “As for Mathews, he will link up with the team in Cairo. Besides, he (Mathews) has played with the current players in the team in the previous tournaments and we hope he will catapult the team with his professional touch.”
Gikaria was also quick to assure the players that the team will feature in the 10-event despite team officials not having gotten their tickets from the Ministry of Sports by early yesterday.
The official said, “Everything is in order save for the tickets. I was at the Sports Ministry today (yesterday) in the afternoon and the officials at the ministry assured me the team will get their tickets. We therefore hope to jet out of the country tomorrow (today).”
Other players in the squad are— Rodgers Ambudo, Kevin Koga, Bruno Sewe, Tyrus Ochieng, Cheruiyot Kiplagat, Victor Siero, Paul Nyambuke, Celestine Okoyana, Thodosia Sangoro, Davis Omondi, Victor Otuoma, Bryon Agunda, Austine Odour, Mathews Odour and Rashid Ingutsa.
The championship set for January 21-30 will see winner book the sole Africa ticket to this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August.
The Kenya men’s team has been drawn in Pool ‘B’ alongside Tunisia, Angola, Congo, Libya and DR Congo. Group ‘ A’ has defending champions Algeria, hosts Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Cameroon and Gabon.