Jeff Oyemba honoured by Harambee Stars maiden call-up

Goal Kenya.
Jeff Oyemba has only conceded three goals in four games for Kariobangi Sharks since his maiden start in the 2018 season

John Oyemba has termed his maiden call-up to the national team as a ‘special honour’ ahead of Harambee Stars friendly matches in Morocco.

Oyemba is part of the national team squad that is expected to take on Comoros and the Central Africa Republic in Marrakech on Saturday and Tuesday.

The Kariobangi Sharks custodian paid special mention to his goalkeeper trainer, Sunil Shah, in an exclusive interview with Goal for bringing the best out of him.

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Oyemba's splendid performance this season earned him his first call up, beating Gor Mahia's Boniface Oluoch in Stanley Okumbi's squad.

Oyemba has only conceded three goals in four games for Kariobangi Sharks since his maiden start in the 2018 season in a 2-1 defeat against champions Gor Mahia.

Jeff Oyemba of Kariobangi Sharks.

“It's an honour and privilege to represent my country and I am humbled by the call-up. I am here to earn my first cap with the national team," Oyemba told Goal .

“From last season until now, I can attribute my success to discipline and hard work. Also the support from fellow teammates and the technical bench, which we have been working together as a family to attain the achievements, both individually and as a team.

“Special mention to keeper trainer Sunil. He works tirelessly each and every day to bring the best out of his keepers.”

But while Oyemba is working his way up the pecking order at Harambee Stars, of greatest concern to the 24 year-old goalkeeper, is the dwindling number of Kenyan custodians, who find it hard breaking through in other top leagues across the globe.

Kariobangi Sharks keeper Jeff Oyemba.

“It's now up for us goalkeepers to step up our game a notch higher. It's not hard (making it to top leagues) yet it's not easy, but it would be my greatest joy to ply my trade internationally and also to see more and more of my fellow keepers play abroad as well.

"I guess it would bring more competition and also up the quality of play for our national team," added the ardent Chelsea supporter.

Current Tusker goalkeeper, Duncan Ochieng’, who played in Sweden, Arnold Origi (Norway) and Ochieng’ (Finland) are some of the few local custodians to have had successful careers in Europe.

An attempted move by Patrick Matasi to cross to Europe last January hit a snag at the last minute.