Ulinzi custodian delighted by Harambee Stars call-up

Ulinzi Stars FC goalkeeper James Saruni reacts during their SportPesa Premier League match against Gor ...
Ulinzi Stars FC goalkeeper James Saruni reacts during their SportPesa Premier League match against Gor Mahia FC at the Nyayo national stadium on September 14, 2016. Gor Mahia FC won 1-0. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha.com

Ulinzi Stars goalkeeper, James Saruni, who has been named in the provisional 39-man Harambee Stars squad to play DRC Congo in a friendly next month has expressed his great satisfaction in finally earning the call up saying he has long hoped to represent the country.

“It’s a great feeling for me and to my family and friends; I have been fighting hard to be called up for the national duty and I shall do my best and make sure I’m preferred to start.

“It’s sad that we have dropped three places in the FIFA ranking. There is nothing, much we can do except working hard and playing smart in our friendly matches,” Saruni told Citizen Digital.

A total of 26 local-based players who made the list are expected to report to camp on Monday by the Harambee Stars First Coach, Stanley Okumbi, while the other 13 players that ply their trade abroad will link up with the rest of squad beginning October, 2.

Stars will be looking to redeem themselves after dropping three places from position 88 to 91 in the latest FIFA rankings released on Thursday morning.

“I will be honored to be in the same pitch with Wanyama. He is in his own league and an inspiration to me. I believe that one day we shall be almost at the same level or beyond his level,” the Military Men’s skipper added.

Stars captain, Victor Wanyama is expected to lead his side against Congo, October 4 who are 40 places ahead at position 51 in the latest FIFA rankings.

 HARAMBEE STARS TEAM DRC MATCH                           

Goalkeepers: Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia), James Saruni (Ulinzi Stars), David Okello (Tusker)

Defenders: David Owino (Zesco United), David Ochieng’ (New York Cosmos), Brian Mandela (Maritzburg United), Aboud Omar (Slavia Sofia), Eric Ouma, Harun Shakava, Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia), Collins Omondi, Jockins Atudo (Posta Rangers), Charles Momanyi (Kakamega Homeboyz), Bernard Ochieng’ (Vihiga United), Robinson Kamura (Mathare United)

Midfielders: Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspurs), Johanna Omollo (Royal Antwerp), Anthony Akumu (Zesco United), Ayub Timbe (Lierse), Paul Were (Archanaikos),  Rama Salim (Topolcany), Ismail Gonzalez (Las Palmas), Baron Oketch, Amos Nondi, Francis Kahata (Gor Mahia), Michael Mutinda (Thika United), Frederick Onyango (Sony Sugar), Victor Majid (Chemelil Sugar),Kenneth Muguna, Kennedy Otieno(Western Stima), Danson Kago (Tusker FC), Eric Johanna (Mathare United), Bernard Mang’oli (AFC Leopards)

Forwards:  Michael Olunga (IF Djurgardens), Jesse Were (Zesco United), Masoud Juma (Sony Sugar), Mark Makwatta (Ulinzi Stars), Jack Bruno (AFC Leopards), Cavin Odongo (Posta Rangers)

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