It is time to shine for Harambee Stars – Jesse Were

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Ken Okaka.
The former Tusker striker is impressed to have earned a recall to the national team as they prepare for another friendly on Sunday

Harambee Stars striker Jesse Were says he leaves everything to God as he prepares to play for the national team for the first time in many months.

The former Tusker FC striker was among the players who were dropped from the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) squad despite enjoying a good season with Zambian giants Zesco United.

However, the appointment of coach Francis Kimanzi to replace Sebastien Migne came as a relief for Were, who was handed a recall for the Uganda friendly but could not feature in the 1-1 draw after he sustained a hamstring injury while training for the match.

But Were is now ready to face Mozambique in another friendly on Sunday and could be handed a start alongside Michael Olunga of Kashiwa Reysol in Japan.

Were now believes his long absence in the team may have come with a purpose and he is looking forward to repaying his current coach and the Kenyan fans with a good display.

“It feels good for me to return to the national team, it has been long since I played for the team but I believe everything has its own purpose and it is time now to shine for the team,” Were told Goal.

“If given the chance, I will prove myself on Sunday and I know how I will perform will all depend on God, so I leave everything to God but I know we are focused to get a good result.”

Another player who is making a comeback to the team - defender Harun Shakava of Nkana FC in Zambia - also stated he is thrilled to make a return.

“I am very grateful and happy to be back in the team. I thank the coach [Francis Kimanzi] for giving me another opportunity. I have come here with a lot of motivation and ready to repay the faith the coach has shown in me.

“So far the training has been fine and the competition is very stiff, but I will continue working hard and pushing myself. We hope for the best.”

Meanwhile, lead striker Olunga believes Kenya will beat Mozambique and maintain their good start under the new technical bench.

“We want to keep the good run from where we left [against Uganda] and I want to ask the fans to turn out in large numbers and give us the support,” Olunga told Goal.

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“We want to have a good game on [Sunday] and I urge the fans to come because we will not disappoint them. As players, we are keen to make the fans happy and I am confident we will have a good game and we will get a positive result.”

Kimanzi is preparing the squad ahead of the start of the 2021 Afcon qualifiers with Kenya lined up to face Egypt and Togo in Cairo and Nairobi respectively.

Mozambique are expected in the country on Friday.

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