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Harambee Stars: Why Kimanzi chose Michael Olunga to captain Kenya against Uganda

6:42 PM GMT+8 05/09/2019
Michael Olunga of Harambee Stars and Kenya.
The former Gor Mahia striker has been handed the armband for the friendly against the Cranes in the absence of Victor Wanyama

Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi has picked Michael Olunga to captain the side against Uganda on Sunday.

The two East African neighbours will face off in a friendly which will be the first game in charge for coach Kimanzi, who took over the side following the exit of Sebastien Migne.

And with regular skipper, Victor Wanyama being ruled out, coach Kimanzi has confirmed the former Gor Mahia striker, who currently turns out for Kashiwa Reysol in Japan, will lead the side against the Cranes.

“If you don’t have your regular captain, then you have to look around and pick among the most experienced players and [Olunga] stands out,” Kimanzi told Goal at Kasarani.

“Olunga will lead the side and I know with the experience he has, he will do a good job.”

Gor Mahia defender Joash Onyango has been named vice-captain.

Apart from Wanyama, Harambee Stars will miss several key players for the build-up among them Johanna Omollo, Joseph Okumu and Ismael Gonzalez.

Zambian-based striker Jesse Were has also been ruled out after picking a hamstring injury in training on Thursday.

A source close to the team confirmed to Goal the former Tusker striker picked up the injury while playing for his Zambian side in a league match against Zesco United last weekend and travelled for the Kenyan friendly hoping to be fit to play.

“He picked up the injury in Zambia and came hoping to be fit to play but after training today [Thursday], he aggravated the same [injury],” the source, who did not want to be named, told Goal.

Were was aiming to make a return to the Harambee Stars starting 11 after being overlooked for the Africa Cup of Nations held in Egypt