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Saruni makes cut

The wait is over for Ulinzi Stars captain as he makes 24-man Chan squad

Kenya is set to reignite their football rivalry with the neighbours in the qualifiers of the 2020 championships

In Summary

•Migne, who named the squad despite being on holiday back at in France, retained seven out of the nine players who made it to the Afcon squad

•Prior to the Afcon finals, Migne had named a 34-man squad for the Chan Championships but rung changes yesterday, dropping several players who had initially been drafted in the team.

James Saruni in past action
James Saruni in past action
Image: File

Ulinzi Stars first-choice goalkeeper and captain James Saruni was yesterday included in the 24-man Harambee Stars provisional squad for the forthcoming Africa Nations Championships (CHAN) qualifier against Tanzania.

Kenya is set to reignite their football rivalry with the neighbours in the qualifiers of the 2020 championships with the first leg slated for July 28 in Dar-es-salaam while the return leg will be held in Nairobi on August 4.

Saruni, whose omission in the squad which represented the country in the Africa Cup Of Nations was widely criticised, made the cut when coach Sebastien Migne named his squad and will compete for playing time with Kariobangi Sharks goalkeeper John Oyemba.

 

Migne, who named the squad despite being on holiday back at in France, retained seven out of the nine players who made it to the Afcon squad. The Frenchman dropped Francis Kahata who has since joined Simba and Bandari goalkeeper Farouk Shikalo who is rumoured to be on his way to Yanga. According to a Football Kenya Federation official, Migne will jet back into the country this weekend.

Prior to the Afcon finals, Migne had named a 34-man squad for the Chan Championships but rung changes yesterday, dropping several players who had initially been drafted in the team.

Among the players dropped are Sharks duo of Erick Juma and Brian Bwire, Gor Mahia centre half Charles Momanyi and Leopards’ utility player David “Cheche” Ochieng.

Bandari winger Abdallah Hassan, Ibrahim Shambi of Ulinzi Stars and Wazito’s Joe Waithira were also axed. Experienced forward Allan Wanga, who was part of the team named earlier called it a day to international football at the start of the week while former Mathare United winger Cliff Nyakeya signed for Egypt’s Al Masry.

Migne elevated former national U-20 captain and Leopards’ right back Yusuf Mainge to the team. Stars are expected to report to camp next Friday.

The aggregate winner of the two-legged qualifier will face off with either Ethiopia or Djibouti in the second and final qualifying round, to be played on a date set to be announced in due course.

Provisional Squad—Goalkeepers: John Oyemba (Sharks), James Saruni (Ulinzi); Defenders: Philemon Otieno (Gor), Yusuf Mainge (Leopards), Joash Onyango (Gor), Benard Ochieng (Wazito), Mike Kibwage (KCB), Andrew Juma (Mathare United), David Owino (Mathare); Midfielders: Dennis Odhiambo (Sofapaka), Teddy Osok (Wazito), Kenneth Muguna (Gor), Duke Abuya (Sharks), Patillah Omoto (Sharks), Paul Were (Leopards), Samuel Onyango (Gor), Roy Okal (Mathare), Whyvone Isuza (Leopards); Forwards: John Avire (Sofapaka), Musa Masika (Wazito), Nicholas Kipkirui (Gor), Sydney Lokale (Sharks), Piston Mutamba (Wazito) and Enosh Ochieng (Ulinzi).