•The 30-year-old said he contemplated retiring from international assignments after surprise exclusion from the national team
•he former Greensharks player had been a constant fixture in the national team since 2010 when he made his debut
Butali Warriors’ goalkeeper Linus Sang is ready to return to the national team fold after being omitted during the Olympic qualifiers, which took place in August last year in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
The 30-year-old said he contemplated retiring from international assignments after surprise exclusion from the national team. Sang had been named in the provisional squad but was axed from the final list in a move that did not go down well with the mercurial shot-stopper.
Sang kept 13 clean sheets last season as the sugar millers ran away with the Premier League title. The former Greensharks player had been a constant fixture in the national team since 2010 when he made his debut after winning the league title with Strathmore University Gladiators.
And with Kenya set to host the African Cup of Nation’s qualifiers for North-East Africa region under the new qualification system in May, Sang is ready to shine on home soil. The team is expected to start training once the coronavirus pandemic is contained.
“It was unexpected to miss out on the trip to South Africa but all is not lost. I thought about retiring from the national team but reviewed my position. I am ready to fight and regain my spot. A change in management further gives me hope that I still have a role to play in the side.”
Wazalendo’s Fidelis Kimanzi and Michael Malungu of Western Jaguars were installed as the new head coach and assistant respectively though Kimanzi is yet to decide on the opportunity. Malungu doubles up as the Under-21 men’s coach while Kimanzi had a stint with the national women’s team some time back.
Under new leadership, Sang believes the duo are the right pick to redeem the national team because of their experience and passion for the game.
Sang, who was a mainstay in the United States International University (USIU) ‘A’ Mashujaa team (2014-2017), said with motivation and change of mentality from the players, nothing is impossible.
“Settling on the two was a good decision by the union. Players now need to change their perception and start delivering. There should be facilitation to enable players to attend training. Players find it hard sometimes to turn up for training due to lack of funds. With commitment, the team’s obligation will be to produce results.”