• Firat initiated a WhatsApp video call to the shot-stopper as the entire squad halted training at Kasarani Annex on Sunday morning and formed a ring around the tactician to follow up on the engrossing conversation.
• “Byrne fractured his ankle in our friendly match against Russia. We checked up on him and he appears to be in high spirits,” Firat noted after the call.
Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat is hopeful dependable custodian Byrne Odhiambo will recover from injury soon enough to link up with the rest of the squad in training.
Firat initiated a WhatsApp video call to the shot-stopper as the entire squad halted training at Kasarani Annex on Sunday morning and formed a ring around the tactician to follow up on the engrossing conversation.
Firat then moved from one player to another focusing his phone camera on each face. The players in turn waved to Odhiambo wishing him a speedy recovery.
Odhiambo has been out of action right from the day he fractured his ankle while featuring for Stars in an international friendly encounter against Russia in Turkey last month.
“Byrne fractured his ankle in our friendly match against Russia. We checked up on him and he appears to be in high spirits,” Firat noted after the call.
During the call, Firat told Odhiambo they were eager to have him back in the squad. In response, the custodian, who plies his trade for Kenyan Premier
League side, KCB, said he needed more time to recover.
“It’s still too early to join you,” he responded in jest with his head cushioned on a pillow.
Firat then asked Odhiambo to allow the team to get a glimpse of the other side of the bed, leaving the entire squad in stitches.
“Your friends want to see who is on the other side of the bed,” Firat remarked amidst a naughty chuckle.
Odhiambo has since been replaced with experienced Bandari FC goalkeeper Joseph Ochuka, who was overlooked for Stars’ trip to Turkey.
The team entered their second day of residential training at Kasarani Annex in Nairobi with all the players named in the 28-member squad attending the morning session.
Foreign-based players including towering skipper Michael Olunga and midfielder Anthony Akumu began checking in on Friday.
Orlando City’s Nabi Kibunguchy, Murang’a Seal’s Eric Balecho, and KCB’s Hanif Wesonga, who were handed their maiden call-ups by the Turkish gaffer also showed up for training.
Kenya has been drawn in Group F of the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers alongside Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Burundi, and Seychelles.
Harambee Stars will first play against Gabon on Thursday in Franceville, and then against Seychelles on Monday in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Departure to Gabon has been slated for 8 am Wednesday.