VETERANS George Owino and Moses Odhiambo are back in the national squad; their inclusion indicating clearly that Henri Michel has noted some of the genuinely skilled players that earlier coaches had ignored.
Michel has been doing his own quiet scouting during Tusker Premier League matches.
But faced with international fixtures, only weeks away, the Frenchman has apparently had to cobble together, in a hurry, a group to start training on Monday.
There were no major surprises in Michel’s provisional pick of 28 but individual ability on the ball seemed to have informed the coach’s decision.
Owino, the Sofapaka defender has been out for almost two seasons due to injury. But since his return, despite playing only a few matches, his skills, proper mental approach in play and work ethic has been what any coach would ask for.
The Gor Mahia forward, Moses Odhiambo, has always been a player who makes good use of the ball, unlike many of his Kenyan peers who are unapologetic about wastefulness. But the calm Odhiambo has always, apparently, been taken for granted by previous coaches.
Many will not expect Michel’s initial call-ups as permanent “squadies”. Indeed surprise can be expressed at the omission on KCB forward Mungai Kiongera, Ulinzi Stars’ Evans Amuoka, the two leading scorers in the league, John Baraza of Sofapaka and Thika United’s Kepha Aswani, as well as the fact that there are no players from Western Stima, the seventh-placed team in the league that has beaten AFC Leopards, Ulinzi Stars and Tusker and held Gor Mahia this season.
HARAMBEE STARS SQUAD:
1. Boniface OLUOCH (Tusker)
2. Jacktone ODHIAMBO (Ulinzi Stars)
3. Frederick ONYANGO (Gor Mahia)
4. Duncan OCHIENG” (Sofapaka)
5. Christopher WEKESA (Gor Mahia)
6. Edwin WAFULA (AFC Leopards)
7. Solomon NASIO (Gor Mahia)
8. Geoffrey KOKOYO (Ulinzi Stars)
9. Eugene ASIKE (Sofapaka)
10. James MULINGE (Ulinzi Stars)
11. George OWINO (Sofapaka)
12. Donald MOSOTI (Gor Mahia)
13. James SITUMA (Sofapaka)
14. Osborne MONDAY (Sofapaka)
15. Anthony “Teddy” AKUMU (Gor Mahia)
16. Peter OPIYO (Tusker)
17. Humphrey MIENO (Sofapaka)
18. Francis KAHATA (Thika United)
19. John NAIRUKA (Thika United)
20. Bob MUGALIA (Sofapaka)
21. Moses ODHIAMBO (Gor Mahia)
22. Mike BARAZA (AFC Leopards)
23. Charles OKWEMBA (AFC Leopard)
24. Allan WANGA (AFC Leopards)
25. Wycliffe OCHOMO (Ulinzi Stars)
26. Enock AGWANDA (Sony Sugar)
27. Ramadhan SALIM (Gor Mahia)
28. Moses ARITA (Thika United)