Olunga: Kenya striker explains why he anticipated tough season at Kashiwa Reysol

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Michael Olunga of Kenya and Kashiwa Reysol and Harambee Stars.
The towering forward has scored 17 goals in as many games for his top tier team in Japan

Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga has revealed he anticipated a tough 2020 season owing to his experience of the previous season.

The towering attacker scored 27 goals for his side Kashiwa Reysol in 2019 to help them get promoted to the J1 league. It is for this reason the East African reveals he knew what to expect this year.

"I knew it was going to be a tough year especially having scored 27 goals in the previous season, a lot was expected from me," Olunga told Citizen TV.

"I came prepared, ready to work hard."

However, the striker's progress was halted by the outbreak of the Coronavirus. 

"Covid-19 was inevitable and we had to stop; four months without playing was a little bit difficult and when we resumed, I could not score in the first three games because the fitness level was not good," the former Gor Mahia striker continued.

"After three games I started scoring, and went on to score in seven consecutive games."

Olunga is the fans' favourite at Reysol, and he has explained how he is regarded in the country.

"They like to compare me to a monster because I am strong physically, I give J1 league another dimension."

An international call up for the Kenya star is beckoning and the player might miss several games for the Gold and Black due to quarantine rules. Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa revealed Stars will play two friendly matches in October, against yet to be identified opponents, and the 26-year-old explains the impact it will have on him.

"Of course it is going to be a big call also on my side. After the national team assignment, I have to come back and go for a mandatory quarantine for two weeks meaning I will probably miss another four fixtures meaning I might miss probably seven matches for my club.

"We are negotiating between the club and the national team; I am sure we will reach a consensus and make the best decision."

The Harambee Stars will host Comoros on November 11 in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) before playing them away six days later.

Comoros lead Group G with four points while Kenya and Egypt are on two each. Togo are last having claimed a single point from the two matches they have played.

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