Stars invite Australia’s Kamau and Spain’s Gonzalez


Bruce Kamau celebrates after scoring the opener in Adelaide United’s 3-0 win over the ...
Bruce Kamau celebrates after scoring the opener in Adelaide United’s 3-0 win over the Brisbane Roar. PHOTO/Adelaide United

After losing Divock Origi to Belgium, Harambee Stars boss, Stanley Okumbi has invited Kenyan born Ismail Gonzalez and rising Australia A-League star Bruce Kamau to field for the national team.

The youngsters have not yet declared for their adopted nations and they have been invited to feature in the upcoming two friendly matches scheduled for later this month.

Gonzalez, born of a Spanish mother and a Kenyan father has already agreed to the invitation and is expected to link up with the rest of the Stars squad, when the team assembles for camp.

Kamau, however remains undecided since the Australia Socceroos have shown some interest in him and is reportedly weighing his options before making a decision.

 

“I think it is important that we have a look at all players available, including the two,” the national side’s first coach said. Talks with Gonzalez have been very positive, while Kamau is yet to make his decision as there is interest for his services elsewhere.

“But we are optimistic that we will have both of them available for selection in the upcoming friendlies,” he added.

Kamau, 21 who plays as a winger, is making solid waves in the land down under having just moved to Melbourne Victory in the A-League after winning Premiership and Championship with Adelaide United.

He made his senior professional debut for Adelaide United in the 2014 FFA Cup in a match against Wellington Phoenix at the Marden Sports Complex on August 5, 2014.[

Adelaide won the match 1–0 in regulation time and subsequently made his A-League debut in a match against Brisbane Roar in Round one of the 2014–15 A-League season.

He scored his first A-League goal for Adelaide in a 1–0 win away to Melbourne Victory on February 19 in the 90th minute of the match in Round 20 of the 2015–16 season.

“Signing his first professional contract with Adelaide United in 2015, Bruce Kamau will be stepping into the spotlight as one of the most exciting young, local talents in the Hyundai A-League.

“With endless amounts of potential and a unique combination of flair and humility, Kamau’s pace constantly injects much needed exuberance into the Reds line-ups.

“Having featured for United a couple of times already when still on his youth contract, Kamau will be looking to showcase his plethora of skills more frequently in the Hyundai A-League throughout 2015/16,”Adelaide United wrote on their website of Kamau ahead of the past season.

Gonzales, who is also 21, started his career in the junior ranks in Spanish La Liga side CD Las Palmas and his father, Said Ali Athuman left Mombasa in 1989 to seek greener pastures in the Canary Islands where he married and begot the player on February 1, 1995.

The defensive midfielder who reportedly does not speak a word of Swahili is on loan at second-tier side CP Cacereno and had a failed trial at English Premier League giants, Manchester City.

In May 2014, Kenya lost out in their bid to woo Liverpool forward, Origi, the son of former Stars striker, Mike Okoth after he chose the Red Devils after playing for Belgium’s Under-14 and Under-16 sides.

Origi who is battling to be fit for Wednesday’s Europa League final went on to star for Belgium at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with then Stars head coach, Adel Amrouche informing his Belgian counterpart Marc Wilmots he would select him if he failed to take up the forward who has since blossomed at Anfield.

Kenya are scheduled to play two friendly matches with the first planned for Nairobi’s Safaricom Stadium in Kasarani in preparation for the team’s 2017 Afcon qualifier match against Congo at home, on June 5.

In the first encounter slotted for May 27 Kenya will field emerging prospects to take on Sudan, before facing Tanzania two days later for a full international friendly.

“In the first match we will field a young squad aged between 20 to 23 years, who we feel have great potential but still need to develop, while the second match will be a full international friendly with all the players available for selection,” Okumbi remarked.

Fans who will attend the May 27 match will be treated to a double header with Kenya’s U20 also taking on Sudan U20 in a curtain raiser at the same venue.

-Squad naming- 

With a fortnight to the Congo clash Football Kenya Federation (FKF) is expected anytime from now to release the squad that was selected by Okumbi.

The team was chosen after a closed door meeting that took place last Friday between Stars’ technical bench and top federation officials.

“We have done the selection and forwarded the names to the FKF for consideration and I cannot comment on anything concerning the issue right now until the federation releases the squad list to the public,” Okumbi told Citizen Digital.

-Additional reporting by Geoffrey Mwamburi

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