Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lille’s Origi tops Amrouche’s list of Stars’ foreign legion

By ODINDO AYIEKO [email protected]

Dickov Origi, son of former Kenyan international Mike Okoth, is in the list of foreign-based footballers the new Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche is targeting to call up to the team as he rebuilds the squad ahead of crucial matches.

Coach Amrouche said he has a list of 41 players, some of whom have never set foot in Kenya but have roots in the country and who he wants to invite to play for the Harambee Stars.

Nineteen-year-old Origi, who is now playing for French League 1 side Lille, has been on the news in the past weeks after he scored on his senior debut for the club against Troyes on February 2.

He has played for the Belgium Under-17 team and is considered a bright prospect.

“I have a big list of very gifted players. This is the time to rebuild Kenya’s national football team. I will give everybody a chance to play for Kenya, even players you have never known before,” he said.

“I have done my research well and I will soon start contacting these players,” he added.

Other players who have Kenyan roots but are citizens of other countries include Curtis Osano who was born in Nakuru in 1987 but grew up at the Reading Youth system in England and now plays for Wimbledon in the lower leagues in England.

There is also 20-year-old Fredrick Ochieng who went through the Borussia Dortmund youth programme and went on to captain Germany’s Under-15 side.

Great talent

Amrouche says there is great talent in Kenyan football and insists it will be a very good start in marketing the game if he can manage to bring players based in Europe and who have Kenyan roots to accept to play for Kenya.

Three years ago, Taiwo Atieno managed to change his British citizenship to Kenyan and has been capped three times for the Harambee Stars.

Amrouche, an Algerian-born Belgian was on Wednesday appointed the head coach of the Harambee Stars, replacing Frenchman Henri Michel who quit after three months in December.

His first major task will be to lead Kenya in their 2014 World Cup qualifier against Nigeria next month.

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