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Home Sports Afcon Qualifiers: Saruni, Namasaka among those retained in Harambee Stars squad

Afcon Qualifiers: Saruni, Namasaka among those retained in Harambee Stars squad

The retained players are set to report back in camp on Sunday ahead of Thursday’s game with the Pharaohs in Kenya

Harambee Stars head coach has trimmed his local-based squad to just 16 players in preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Kenya played two build-up matches against South Sudan and Tanzania winning 1-0 and 2-1 respectively, and it seems the two games were enough to help coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee identify the local-based players to work with.

Goal can exclusively reveal goalkeepers James Saruni of Ulinzi Stars and his counterpart Joseph Okoth from KCB have been retained with Sam Adisa and Brian Bwire failing to get a place.

In the right-back position, KCB’s Baraka Badi and Daniel Sakari of Kariobangi Sharks have a chance while David Owino -who plays for the Bankers as well, and Harun Mwale preferred in the left-back position.

Wazito FC defender Johnstone Omurwa and his compatriot from KCB Nahashon Alembi are the only centre-backs retained while the midfield has Gor Mahia captain Kenneth Muguna, Danson Namasaka of Bandari, Lawrence Juma of Sofapakaand Wazito FC’s Kevin Kimani.

The retained attackers include Boniface Muchiri of Tusker, Abdallah Hassan of Bandari, and Elvis Rupia of AFC Leopards alongside Kariobangi Sharks’ Erick Kapaito.

“Those are the players the coach felt have a chance to take part in the game against Egypt and Equatorial Guinea respectively,” a source from the team told Goal on Friday.

“But there might be about two or three players who will be released later on to accommodate the foreign-based players who are expected to join the team any time from Friday.

“The retained 16 will report back on Sunday after duty with their clubs in the Football Kenya Federation Premier League this weekend.”

The Pharaohs are top of Group G with eight points alongside Comoros who are second with the same number of points but with an inferior goal difference.

Harambee Stars are third with three points while Togo are bottom of the table with a point.

While the East African outfit will play Togo away in Lome in their final group game, the Pharaohs will be at home against Comoros. The top two teams will play in the finals in Cameroon.

Harambee Stars provisional squad of local-based players

Goalkeepers: James Saruni (Ulinzi Stars), Joseph Okoth (KCB).

Defenders: Johnstone Omurwa (Wazito FC), Nahashon Alembi (KCB), Baraka Badi (KCB), Harun Mwale (Ulinzi Stars), Daniel Sakari (Kariobangi Sharks), David Owino (KCB).

Midfielders: Lawrence Juma (Sofapaka), Kenneth Muguna (Gor Mahia, Danson Namasaka Chetambe (Bandari FC), Kevin Kimani (Wazito FC).

Forwards: Boniface Muchiri (Tusker FC), Abdallah Hassan (Bandari FC), Elvis Rupia (AFC Leopards), Erick Kapaito (Kariobangi Sharks).

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