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Sammy Omollo challenges new defenders ahead of Kenya and Uganda friendly

8:11 PM SGT 7/9/19
Posta Rangers coach Sammy Omollo.
The former international defender has challenged the new call-ups to prove they are ripe for the national team when they play against Cranes on Sunday

Posta Rangers head coach Sammy Omollo believes this is an opportunity for the new defenders in the Harambee Stars team to win over the hearts of Kenyans.

In the absence of regulars like Musa Mohammed, David Owino, Brian Mandela, Aboud Omar, and Joseph Okuma, coach Francis Kimanzi has given call-ups to Brian Otieno, Mike Kibwage, Johnstone Omurwa, Hillary Wandera, Amai Atariza and Samuel Olwande.

Omollo insists this is a golden opportunity for those defenders in camp to stake their claim in the national team by performing above expectations. 

"Kenya has very many talented defenders, it is one of the most competitive areas right now," Omollo told Goal on Saturday.

"The absence of our established defenders is a blessing in disguise, especially to our upcoming defenders. Apart from Joash [Onyango] and Ouma [Erick], most of the defenders in the team are new in one way or another. The match against Uganda gives them a perfect platform to win Kenyan hearts.

"For them [defenders] to be given a chance again, they have to show something extraordinary which the already established players do not have."

The veteran coach insists Cranes will be a perfect test for the players, and if they come through unscathed, then they might be considered by Harambee Stars technical bench for future games.

"Kaddu [Patrick], Miya [Farouk] and Lumala [Abdu] are good players, and if Kibwage and company will keep them silent, it will be good for their confidence. They will also give the coaches something to think about in the future.

"However, playing at home will give the new boys confidence and the belief to perform better," he concluded.

The friendly match between Harambee Stars and Cranes will be staged at Kasarani Stadium on Sunday from 4 pm (EAT).