EXCLUSIVE: Boost for Harambee Stars as Ayub Timbe joins camp in France

Kenya will play two friendly matches while in Europe before the first Afcon test against Algeria on June 23

The Harambee Stars camp has been boosted by the arrival of Beijing Renhe forward Ayub Timbe.

Timbe joined his international teammates in France for a 19-day training camp and his arrival follows that of goalkeepers Farouk Shikalo (Bandari) and Jeff Oyemba (Kariobangi Sharks) on Monday.

Timbe has been in fine form since undergoing surgery in January, and provided the assist for the second Beijing Renhe goal when they won 2-0 against Tianjin Tianhai on June 1.

Ayub Timbe of Kenya Harambee Stars in training.

Since playing for Harambee Stars in the 2-1 defeat to Sierra Leone in Group F’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifying opener in Free Town, Timbe was suspended for three matches by Caf for indecent behaviour and did not feature in the subsequent qualifiers.

Timbe suffered a knee injury in December while playing for his Chinese side and underwent surgery on January 3, further ruling him out of international duty.

His arrival comes hours after Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa told Goal exclusively from France that he was happy that the team has settled in well in the residential camp.

Ayub Timbe of Harambee Stars.

“We are happy with how the team has settled in and the preparation around the Afcon campaign,” said Mwendwa.

“As a federation, we continue to appeal to our fans back home to get behind the team, this even as we thank the government and our partners Betin for the critical role they have played in making this camp a reality.”

Sweden-based Eric Johanna, Ovella Ochieng, and Eric Ouma will also link up with the team on Monday, while Victor Wanyama will check in on Tuesday.

The FKF has lined up two friendly matches, against Madagascar on June 7, 2019, in Paris and against DR Congo on June 15, 2019, in Madrid.

Ayub Timbe of Harambee Stars in training.

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Ayub Timbe of Harambee Stars and Christopher Mbamba.

The team will then jet out to Cairo, Egypt, on June 19, 2019, in time for the continental showpiece. Kenya will play her Group C matches at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo.

The first match will see Harambee Stars face Algeria on June 23. Tanzania will be up next on June 27, before Stars wind up their group stage matches against Senegal on July 1, 2019.