Friday, March 15, 2013

Mariga, Jamal, Lille’s Origi called to Stars

Harambee Stars’ Jamal Mohammed tussles for the ball with Namibia’s Oliver Riser during their 2010 World Cup/Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Saturday. Kenya won 1-0. Photo/CHRIS OMOLLO

Harambee Stars’ Jamal Mohammed tussles for the ball with Namibia’s Oliver Riser during their 2010 World Cup/Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Saturday. Kenya won 1-0. Photo/CHRIS OMOLLO  NATION

By ISAAC SWILA [email protected]

Jamal Mohamed is the surprise inclusion in the 11-man foreign legion that was named by Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche Friday.

The players will form the bulk of the team that will face Nigeria away next weekend in a World Cup qualifier. Jamal, a creative midfielder, last appeared for the national team in early 2012 under Francis Kimanzi despite seeing little club action.

He joined the Omani based league side last season after an inauspicious outing with his former club Mathare United.

An interesting inclusion in the team is fast-rising Belgian junior international Divock Origi, son of ex-Kenya international striker Mike Okoth.

The junior Origi recently made headlines in France when he came off the bench to score Lille’s equalizer in their French Ligue One match against Troyes.

But it will be interesting to see whether Origi honours the call up. The 17-year-old centre forward could also be considering playing for Belgium at the senior level. When reached for comment Origi’s uncle and former Kenyan international Austin Oduor was noncommittal on the matter.

“I would not know whether he will honour the call because he is not residing in Kenya…it’s only his father who can talk authoritatively on the matter. The federation hasn’t talked to the father, The boy is still very young’’

Also in the list are skipper Dennis Oliech, who plies his trade at French outfit AC Ajaccio, Celtic’s Victor Wanyama, Christian Bwamy (Fram FC, Norway) and Johanna Omollo (Lommel, Belgium).

Others are Ayub Timbe( RCK Genk Belgium), South Africa’s Sanlam Santos defender Brian Mandela, and David Gateri(ASD South Africa).

Lanky midfielder MacDonald Mariga who is currently on a loan spell at Italian Serie A side Parma FC has been recalled to the team. Mariga has not donned the team’s colours since October 2011.

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