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African Nations Championship

Ibrahim Shambi: Harambee Stars call up an opportunity for growth

12:45 BST 16/05/2019
Ulinzi Stars v Riverplate FKF Cup.
This is Shambi’s first senior call-up as he has played for the junior national teams before

Ulinzi Stars midfielder Ibrahim Shambi was elated after he was included in the Harambee Stars for the African Nations Cup (Chan) qualifier.

Shambi, who has played for the U-20 and U-23 national teams, says the faith Sebastien Migne has shown by including him in the Harambee Stars squad for the Chan qualifier will spur his growth as a footballer.

Kenya will face Burundi in the first round of Chan qualifiers and should they progress on aggregate, they will either have Tanzania or Sudan as opponents in the second and final round.

“I think the call up shows the trust the coaches have in me, which is good, and more importantly it is a big psychological boost for me to do what I have been doing, while at the same time trying to get better at it,” Shambi told the club’s website.

“I have been at the U-20 and U-23 teams and this is a new step for me. It signifies growth and the start of a new challenge. The response I can give here is to work harder to not only be a better player but also help the national team, and my team, Ulinzi Stars.

The former SS Assad midfielder added that he is now focused on helping his club turn around their recent run of poor form.

In the last five matches, the Soldiers have managed just one win and lost the rest. The win came against Nzoia Sugar and the losses were suffered in the hands of Bandari, Gor Mahia, Posta Rangers, and Zoo.

“We have not picked the results we desired in the past few matches and generally, the season has been tough on us but I think we can salvage something from it. We want to finish strongly in the remaining games and see where we get,” Shambi added.

The midfielder was the club’s captain when they won the 2016 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) U-20 title.

Ulinzi Stars have Chemelil Sugar as their next league opponents on Sunday.