Olunga named captain, Were out of Uganda tie

Olunga named captain, Were out of Uganda tie
Michael Olunga shares a joke with Farouk Shikalo during their tarining session at Kasarani stadium on September 5,2019.Photo/Oliver Ananda/Sportpicha

Michael Olunga will captain Kenya during the national team’s friendly against Uganda on Sunday at the Kasarani Stadium, head coach Francis Kimanzi has announced.

Kimanzi lauded Olunga as a ‘leader on and off the pitch’ as he backed the Kashiwa Reysol striker to marshal Harambee Stars who will be without injured skipper Victor Wanyama against the Cranes.

“Olunga has been part of the team since 2015 when he played his debut and also he has leadership skills. He is kind of a guy who can co-ordinate well with his teammates in and out of the pitch.

“It’s my hope that he will do a wonderful job on Sunday,” Kimanzi said on Thursday after taking charge of a morning training session.

Striker Jesse Were, who was called back to the team after failing to make the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019 squad, will not feature after sustaining an injury during club duty with Zesco United.

“I want to thank all players who have arrived to the camp; at least there is no major injuries doubt. I fear for Jesse. He got injured when playing for his club in their last match where he only lasted for 80 minutes on the pitch. It’s however good to have him the team as we hope he will be a big motivation to the team,” Kimanzi said.

Olunga in his part welcomed his appointment as skipper and urged fans to show up in large to support the team.

“I am very happy for the armband, and I will lead the team accordingly. I have played since 2015 for the national team and It didn’t come as a surprise because I deserved it.

“I think Uganda is a very tough team, they were at AFCON and it is going to be our fist challenge under the new regime led by coach Kimanzi. Each and every player I believe he is ready for the Sunday task and we are psyched up and ready to give our best.”

Harambee Stars will miss several key players for the build-up among them Johanna Omollo, Joseph Okumu, Ismael Gonzalez and Zesco’s Were.

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