Omollo: Gor Mahia tactician believes snubbed Kenya foreign-based players can return

Omollo: Gor Mahia tactician believes snubbed Kenya foreign-based players can return

The former Harambee Star expects competition will increase in the national team after recent changes

Gor Mahia assistant coach Sammy Omollo believes snubbed players have a chance to make it back to the national team with improved performances for their respective teams.

Captain Victor Wanyama, Johanna Omolo, Eric Johana, Ayub Timbe, Brian Mandela, and Patrick Matasi are some of the players who were not involved for the Harambee Stars in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. Among those who got a chance are Daniel Sakari, Danson Namasaka, Abdallah Hassan, Clifton Miheso, Nahashon Alembi, Elvis Rupia and Johnstone Omurwa, among others who were given a chance.

The local-based players went on to put on an impressive performance in the Afcon Group G qualifier against Egypt, a match that eventually ended 1-1.

“It was a good show by the local-based players, they were given a chance and took it,” Omollo told Goal on Monday.

“They have been yearning for the opportunity and they did not disappoint. I cannot say those who were not involved – especially the foreign-based players, that their chance is gone.

“It is a challenge for them to work harder in their respective teams and hope to be recalled. It is like a wake-up call; they know if they don’t give their best for Harambee Stars, there is someone who is ready to replace them.”

The former international defender went on to explain how the recent involvement of players in the Football Kenya Federation Premier League will impact them.

“Giving those players a chance against Egypt was a massive confidence booster,” Omollo continued.

“Other players also took note of that and you will see them improving their tempo. Competition is good, and once we have several players fighting for a certain position you will see a consistent positive performance by Harambee Stars.”

Kenya will be playing Togo on Monday evening in Group G’s dead-rubber in Lome. Egypt and Comoros have already sealed their place in the finals to be held in Cameroon.

In the last meeting at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, Johanna Omolo – who is not part of the current squad scored for the then Francis Kimanzi-led Stars before Hakim Oura-Sama equalised for the visitors to ensure the spoils are shared.

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