Euro stars join Stars camp

Published on 03/06/2009

By Gilbert Wandera

It was near full house at the national team Harambee Stars camp following the arrival of seven foreign-based players ahead of the June 7 World Cup qualifier against Nigeria.

The seven who jetted in yesterday are Austin Makacha (IK Sirius, Sweden), Robert Mambo (GIF Sundsvall, Sweden), Denis Oliech (AJ Auxerre, France), Allan Wanga (Petro Atletico, Angola), Macdonald Mariga (Parma, Italy), Willis Ochieng’ (IFK Mariehman, Finland) and Patrick Oboya (FK Most, Czech Republic).

Only two players Oliech and Wanga trained with the team yesterday morning, as the other five players were yet to turn up at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani camp though they had arrived.

Oliech complained of fatigue after an eight-hour flight from Paris but said he was catching up well with the training.

Wanga, who said he was glad to be back in the team, predicted a tough match against Nigeria on Sunday.

The Petro forward said he has received interest from an Armenian club and the two teams are negotiating over a possible move next season.

Two other foreign based players midfielder John ‘Mo’ Muiruri and goalkeeper Arnold Origi who both turn out for Moss FK in Norway arrive this morning to join the rest in fighting for places to the final team that takes on Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja.

Muiruri is coming back to the team after almost three-year absence. He was last called-up for international duty in 2006 during Kenyas Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Eritrea in Nairobi.

‘Mo’, as he is fondly known has played 60 international matches for the national team and was a member of the side that played in the Africa Cup of Nations finals in 2004 in Tunisia then under Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee.

Origi, on the other hand, is coming back to the team after a year’s absence due to an injury he suffered when Kenya played Zimbabwe last June in the first round of the World Cup/Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Makacha, who just recently joined the Swedish division two side, is coming back to the national team after missing the first World Cup qualifier against Tunisia due to a club and country row.

The former Mathare United midfielder was one of the five players withdrawn from camp by their club two weeks before the match against Tunisia and coach Antoine Hey dropped them after that.

Mariga comes back to the team after leading his club to qualify to the Italian Serie ‘A’ after being relegated last year.

Coach Hey will this morning name his final team that travels to Nigeria tomorrow morning.

A total of 20 players and five officials are expected to travel to Abuja and the team will not break camp after the Nigeria match.



Read all about: Nigeria Antoine Hey



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