•Incidentally, the recalling of Origi coincides with the absence of Patrick Matasi who was the number one choice for the national team in the last three years.
•AFC Leopards’ highly-rated defender Collins Sichenje and KCB right-back Bakari Badi are among a handful of home-based players named in the squad.
The door has been opened for former Harambee Stars’ keeper Arnold Origi to reclaim his position between the sticks for the national team as coach Francis Kimanzi named a 34-man provisional squad for the team’s upcoming friendly match against Zambia.
Origi has been out in the cold for close to five years, missing out on a place for the African Cup of Nations in Egypt last year. The veteran shot-stopper had been disillusioned with the direction the national team and Kenyan football in general was taking amid reports that he was seeking Norwegian nationality hence held a dual passport.
Incidentally, the recalling of Origi coincides with the absence of Patrick Matasi who was the number one choice for the national team in the last three years.
Kimanzi has also handed call-ups to Barnsley defender Clarke Oduor as well as his Sweden-based compatriot Hillary Wanders. “Influential forward Michael Olunga, captain Victor Wanyama and midfielder Johanna Omollo, in the meantime, may miss out on the final squad, owing to the strict Covid-19 protocols imposed by the countries from which they ply their trade.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) are, however, actively engaging their clubs with a view of having the players available for the friendly,” read a federation statement accompanying the provisional squad.
The match, which is a build-up for the upcoming back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers against Comoros, has been scheduled for October 10 at the Moi Stadium, Kasarani, behind closed doors. Left backs Eric Marcelo Ouma and Aboud Omar are some of the players from the Kenyan squad to the 2019 Afcon who are missing.
AFC Leopards’ highly-rated defender Collins Sichenje and KCB right-back Bakari Badi are among a handful of home-based players named in the squad.
Squad: Goalkeepers: Arnold Origi (HIFK, Finland), Ian Otieno (Zesco United, Zambia), Timothy Odhiambo (Ulinzi Stars); Defenders: Brian Mandela (unattached), Joash Onyango (Simba, Tanzania), Joseph Okumu (Elfsborg, Sweden), Harun Shakava (Nkana, Zambia), Clarke Oduor (Barnsley, England), Hillary Wandera (Tusker), Samuel Olwande (Sharks), David Owino (Mathare), Johnstone Omurwa (Wazito), Collins Shichenje (Leopards), Andrew Juma (Gor), Philemon Otieno (Gor), Badi Baraka (KCB).
Midfielders: Kenneth Muguna (Gor), Victor Wanyama (Impact Montreal, Canada), Francis Kahata (Simba), Eric Johanna (Jonkoping’s Sodra IF, Sweden), Cliff Nyakeya (Masr FC, Egypt), Antony Akumu (Kaizer Chiefs South Africa), Johanna Omolo (Cercle Brugge KSV, Belgium), Ayub Timbe (Beijing Renhe, China), Brian Musa (Wazito), Lawrence Juma (Gor), Katana Mohamed (Isloch, Belarus), Austin Otieno (AFC)
Forwards: Michael Olunga (Kashiwa Reysol, Japan), Elvis Rupia (Leopards), Masud Juma (JS Kabylie, Algeria), Timothy Otieno (NAPSA Stars), John Avire (Tanta FC, Egypt) and Oscar Wamalwa (Ulinzi Stars).