Okumbi chuffed at young Gitau’s move to Middlesbrough


Former Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi reacts during their AFCON 2017 qualifier return leg match against ...
Former Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi reacts during their AFCON 2017 qualifier return leg match against Guinea Bissau at the Nyayo National stadium on March 27, 2016. Guinea Bissau won 1-0. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

In Summary

  • The national Under-20 football head coach Stanley Okumbi has hailed Kenya's full-back George Gitau move to English second-tier side Middlesbrough, on an academic scholarship.
  • Middlesbrough confirmed signing the 16-year-old full-back, who has previously featured for Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Brighton & Holve Albion.
 

The national Under-20 football head coach Stanley Okumbi has hailed Kenya’s full-back George Gitau move to English second-tier side Middlesbrough, on an academic scholarship.

Middlesbrough confirmed signing the 16-year-old full-back, who has previously featured for Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Brighton & Holve Albion.

“It’s a great achievement for him as a player  plus it’s good news to Kenyan football because we want many of our players to get the exposure in the big  leagues. We are hoping more young stars will get an opportunity to play for the bigger clubs outside the country to increase competition within the pool of our national team players,” said Okumbi.

Okumbi underscored the importance of proper communication between the players’ agents and the Federation for easy follow up when their services are required for the national team.

“The federation has put up plans on how we can follow up on the young players who play their trade abroad .The challenge we are facing with most of them is that when they sign for a club they don’t communicate to the federation immediately, making it hard for us to reach them,” added the Rising Stars coach.

Gitau is relatively unknown in Kenya but the club revealed he is among the players  who impressed  during the trials, which saw Ash McCarthy, Max Howells, Sonny Finch, George McCormick and Luke Woolston also make the team.

“When I was in charge  of the  senior team we were able to find Ismail Gonzalez because it was easy to identify where he was playing (Spain) and now he has become a regular in the team. That shows the importance of the agents and the players keeping in touch with the federation ,” Okumbi told Citizen Digital.

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Story By John Kyanda
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