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Harambee Stars: I am ready to fill the void left by Wanyama – Olunga

16:30 EAT 05/09/2019
Michael Olunga of Kenya during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Kenya
The former Gor Mahia striker welcomes the decision to lead Kenya against the Cranes in the friendly match set for Kasarani Stadium on Sunday

Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga has stated he is ready to captain the side when they take on Uganda in a friendly on Sunday.

The former Gor Mahia striker, who currently turns out for Kashiwa Reysol in Japan, was handed the armband to step in for Victor Wanyama who did not make it for the friendly against his East African neighbours.

Kenyan coach Francis Kimanzi told Goal on appointing Olunga: “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.

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

And speaking on the new appointment, Olunga added: “I think it is my responsibility as a player because I have played for the national team since 2015 and there is a lot of young players coming into the side.

“I will have to step in and fill the void left by our able captain Victor [Wanyama] and will try to lead by example come Sunday.

"I will strive to do my best and hunt for the goals so we can defeat Uganda at home.”

Olunga has further promised Kenyan fans to expect a win against the Cranes in the derby.

“It is going to be a good game, they are tough opposition and they were at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) but all I know is every player in camp is ready,” Olunga continued.

“It will be our first match under the new regime of coach [Kimanzi] and we don’t want to disappoint, we are ready and psyched up to get a win.”

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.

Kenya will use the friendly to gauge their preparedness ahead of their 2021 Afcon qualifying matches against Egypt and Togo.