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CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup

'Learn from past mistakes' - Omollo challenges Harambee Stars players

5:13 PM GMT+8 06/12/2019
Kenya's and Harambee Stars Lawrence Juma (r) in action against Egypt p;layer Mohamed Afsha.
The tactician says those who have been given chances to play for the national team should justify why they need the next call- up

Sammy Omollo has challenged the Harambee Stars Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup-bound players to grab their opportunities and use them well. 

Kenya have been pooled in Group B and will start the title defenc with a match against arch-rivals Tanzania and Omollo says the players who will be picked to play by coach Francis Kimanzi must rise to the occasion.

The Posta Rangers tactician gave the examples of Johnstone Omurwa, Samuel Olwande and Lawrence Juma as players who were given chances and made maximum use of them.

The trio have been regular members of the national team since Kimanzi was appointed head coach in August.

“There are some new faces in [Francis] Kimanzi's squad and Cecafa is a very big challenge for them. If the new players do well then, I believe they will be in Kimanzi's future plans,” Omollo told Goal.

“They must learn from [Samuel] Olwande, [Johnstone] Omurwa and [Lawrence] Juma who were given opportunities and they grabbed them immediately.”

The retired defender further pointed out he expects goalkeepers Timothy Odhiambo and Samuel Odhiambo to shine in the absence of Patrick Matasi.

“[Patrick] Matasi is not there so whoever is going to be given that opportunity has to show up so as to form a part of the future team,” added Omollo.

“These two keepers will not suffer from ego because I understand they are hungry to wear the national team jersey and perform. This is an area I have no worry at all and anyone who impresses will definitely be part of the main team which will take part in the African Cup of Nations [Afcon] and World Cup qualifiers.”

The coach challenged the goalkeepers to learn and avoid mistakes, like Jeff Oyemba and his Kariobangi Sharks counter-part Brian Bwire did.

The duo were given numerous call-ups but failed to dislodge Matasi from the goalposts. Bwire, however, was called up for the Cecafa tournament but withdrew after an injury and his place was taken by Western Stima's Odhiambo.

“They must learn from [Jeff] Oyemba and [Brian] Bwire who were given opportunities but never used them maximumly. It is a matter of getting that call-up and showing why you deserve it again in future,” Omollo concluded.