Harambee Stars' Odhiambo: Club continental experience will help in Afcon

Odhiambo is among the 12 players that left Nairobi for France for a residential training camp and is awaiting the arrival of other teammates

Harambee Stars midfielder Dennis Odhiambo has said Kenya rightfully deserves its place in the June-July Afcon finals in Egypt.

Odhiambo played a major role in deep-lying midfield as Kenya battled against Ghana, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone in Group F qualifiers and eventually made it through as second runners up.

He is among the players already in camp in France as they prepare to face Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo in friendly matches before jetting out for the Afcon tournament mid this month.

"We are not favourites, but we have worked hard to get to where we are now, and we’ll try our best to make our fans happy,” Odhiambo told the Football Kenya Federation website.

“Being in the team is a big motivation and I’d like to thank the government as well as the Football Kenya Federation for seeing to it that we have adequate preparations for the tournament."

Meanwhile, Philemon Otieno has revealed what his achievement with Harambee Stars could mean for the local players.

“My call-up to the national team is a motivation for locally based players. It is not easy to earn a chance (in the national team) but I think with hard work and patience, things can work out,” Otieno told the Football Federation website too.

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“I have gained a lot of confidence playing in the club continental championships, and I believe the experience will make it easier for me in the national team."

Christopher Mbamba, Eric Johanna, David Owino, and Anthony Akumu are the latest players to join the camp at the French Rugby Federation in Marcoussis Cedex where they are expected to train for 19 days ahead of the 32nd edition of Afcon.

Kenya will face Algeria in the opening match on June 23 before facing Tanzania on June 27 and finishing the Group C duties against Senegal on July 1.