South African-based defender Brian 'Niang' Mandela became the first foreign-based player to jet in ahead of Harambee Stars African Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone.
Mandela touched down in Nairobi on Wednesday and is expected to be part of the squad that will be taken through their paces on Friday during the open session. He is among the 13 foreign-based players whom coach Stanley Okumbi has handed call-ups as the Stars gear to get their Afcon campaign off to a flying start against the West Africans away.
The Stars have pitched camp at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. Stars gear for the tie buoyed by their steady improvement in the Fifa rankings published Thursday. The Stars made a substantial gain rising from position 78 to 74.
Okumbi has done incredibly well in warm -up matches but faces the real test in the qualifiers from where he will be judged.
Professional players: Abud Omar (Slava Sofia, Bulgaria), Agay Anthony Akumu (Zesco United, Zambia), Ayub Masika Timbe(Beijing Renhe, China), David Ochieng (New York Cosmos, USA), Erick Ouma (Kolkheti Poti, Georgia), Erick Johanna (Vasalunds IF, Sweden), Jackson Jesse Were (Zesco United, Zambia), Johanna Omollo (Royal Antwerp, Belgium), Joseph Okumu (Free State Stars, South Africa), Odhiambo David Owino (Zesco, Zambia), Michael Olunga (Guizhou Zhicheng, China), Onyango Brian Mandela (Maritzburg, South Africa) and Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspurs, England).