The return of Musa ‘Otero’

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By James Waindi

Former Harambee Stars skipper Musa Otieno has been recalled to the team for the third and final round of the 2010 World Cup/Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Captain Robert Mambo has also been called up a alongside Mathare United’s Kevin Ochieng, Titus Mulama and Tusker’s Joseph Njuguna all of who were missing in the provisional squad named last week.

New Star’s coach Antoine Hey made the announcement yesterday as 28 local players started camp at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, in preparation for the March 28 tie against Tunisia in Nairobi.

Otieno, who plies his trade for South Africa side Sanlam Santos hang up his international boots in 2004 after leading Kenya to the Africa Nations Cup finals in Tunisia.

” The journey has started, we are only six matches away to the World Cup and we need an experienced team to be able to tackle top opponents,” Hey said.

Great form

He added: “Otieno would add a lot of experience in this team. I have talked to a number of friends in South Africa who have watched him play and I understand he is in great form. I called him and he was pleased for the recall and vowed to serve the country in any position,” said Hey.

The 35-year old defender is one of Kenya’s most successful and decorated footballers, having made his national team debut against Zaire in 1993 at the age of 19. He has since captained Harambee Stars several times.

“From my personal analysis of the team, I think we have a lot of quality in midfield and striking but the defence has some missing link. I hope the arrival of Otieno would be vital in our qualifiers,” said Hey.

Mulama, who signed for Mathare United from Swedish side SK Vasteras, was dropped from the squad last July.

Hey, a former coach of the Liberia national team said Stars would not feature in any build-up match before the Tunisia encounter.

“I am focusing on team building and to identify players specifically for the Tunisia qualifier. This is my short term goal, because we have very limited time,” said Hey.

Kenya is pooled in Group B alongside Nigeria, Tunisia and Mozambique.

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