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Okumbi summons two school boys for Stars friendlies

Two high School students have been summoned for national team duty ahead of two high profile football friendlies against Mauritania and Togo later this month.

Apart from the initial 19-man squad named earlier, Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi has called up the 2017 Airtel Rising Stars National Secondary Schools Term Two B football boys’ Most Valuable Player (MVP) James Mazembe.

The Kakamega High prodigy, who last month penned a three-year deal with SportPesa Premier League outfit Kariobangi Sharks, joins his schoolmate Alpha Onyango in the list.

Mazembe and Onyango are currently is competing at the East Africa School Games in Gulu, Uganda.

The two were scouted by Football Kenya Federation at the national school games tournament earlier this year.

Onyango is also contracted to league leaders Gor Mahia.

“I am surprised and elated as well. Okumbi had told me I am good enough to play for the national team. I hope to convince him in training and get my first cap in those friendlies,” Mazembe said.

The Gor Mahia duo of goalkeeper Peter Odhiambo and midfielder Boniface Omondi also got late call ups to the national team.

Stars will play two more friendly matches against Mauritania and Togo on August 31 and September 4, all to be staged in Morocco.

Also making the cut is current league top scorer Stephen Waruru, Nakumatt’s Kepha Aswani and Joseph Okumu, who was recently released by South African top tier club Free State Stars.

Conspicuously absent is Gor Mahia midfielder Kenneth Muguna, the reigning Kenyan Premier League Player of the Year, who has hit the headlines in the recent past over his protracted move out of the club.

The matches signify Football Kenya Federation’s quest to commence preparations in earnest for the 2018 Africa Nations Championship. Kenya is awaiting final clearance from the Confederation of Africa Football, to host the tournament in January and February 2018.

Meanwhile, another friendly match involving Kenya’s senior team inclusive of foreign-based players against Mozambique, will be played in Maputo on September 2.

The local based players are expected to commence training at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies in Nairobi, on August 20.

SQUAD

Goalkeepers:

Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia), Patrick Matasi (Posta Rangers), Peter Odhiambo (Gor Mahia)

Defenders:

Benard Ochieng (Vihiga United), Harun Shakava (Gor Mahia), Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia), Omar Mbongi (Ulinzi Stars), Simon Mbugua (Posta Rangers), Collins Shivachi (Tusker), Joseph Okumu (Unattached), Mohammed Hassan (Ulinzi Stars), Jockins Atudo (Posta Rangers)

Midfielders:

Ernest Wendo (Gor Mahia), Victor Majid (AFC Leopards), George Odhiambo (Gor Mahia), Jackson Macharia (Tusker), Daniel Waweru (Ulinzi Stars), Duncan Otieno (AFC Leopards), Boniface Omondi (Gor Mahia), Moses Mudavadi (Kakamega Homeboyz), Alpha Onyango, James Mazembe (both Kakamega High School), Ezekiel Otuoma (Western Stima)

Strikers:

Samuel Onyango, Stephen Waruru (both Ulinzi Stars), Boniface Muchiri (Tusker), Kepha Aswani (Nakumatt), Masoud Juma (Kariobangi Sharks), Joe Waithera (Wazito), Chris Ochieng (Mathare United), Nicholas Kipkirui (Zoo Kericho)

The international friendly match is on September 2 in Maputo.

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