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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Matasi; Why I didn’t expect Harambee stars call up


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Patrick Matasi, the newly signed goalkeeper of Kenya Police FC, has expressed his surprise at being included in the Harambee Stars provisional squad for the upcoming international friendly against Iran on March 28th in Tehran.

Matasi, who recently joined Kenya Police from Tusker, stated that he did not expect to return to the national team given the events that have transpired over the last two years.

Speaking to Mozzart Sports, Matasi said, “There is a lot that has happened in the background over the last two years that I cannot talk about in public. It was therefore a big surprise for me to be recalled.”

Matasi acknowledged that the upcoming match against Iran would be challenging, given the experience of their players who have competed at the highest level in the World Cup. Nevertheless, he remained confident in the abilities of his team and pledged to give their best effort.

“They were in the World Cup so it means their players have tested the highest level of competition and may be tempted to look down on us. But we have what it takes to get something from them and we will give it our best shot. We also have a lot to prove on our side,” he added.
On Wednesday, Harambee Stars Coach Engin Firat announced the provisional squad for the upcoming friendly match against Iran. The 30-man squad comprises both local and foreign-based players.
The team features a mix of seasoned players and newcomers, including Nzoia Sugar’s Hassan Beja and Joseph Mwangi, who have earned their maiden call-ups after impressive performances in the league.

The squad also includes international players with Kenyan roots playing in Europe, such as Denmark-born defender Daniel Anyembe and Alfred Scriven, who plays for IL Hodd in Norway.

In the forwards’ department, the team has Gor Mahia’s Benson Omalla and Police FC’s Elvis Rupia, who are the top scorers in the FKF Premier League. Captain Michael Olunga, who plays for Al Duhail in Qatar, is also included alongside Masud Juma, who features for Al-Faisaly in Saudi Arabia.

The midfield comprises Nzoia’s Beja and Mwangi, Duke Abuya of Police FC, Kenneth Muguna of Azam FC in Tanzania, and Richard Odada of Philadelphia Union in the USA. The defense line is led by Joseph Okumu, who plays for Gent in Belgium, and Erick Ouma of AIK, along with Daniel Sakari of Tusker and David Ochieng of Mathare.

However, some players such as Eric Johana, Jonah Ayunga and Humphrey Mieno are excluded from the squad

Provisional Squad


Patrick Matasi (Police FC), Ian Otieno (Zesco, Zambia), Bryne Odhiambo (KCB), Levin Opiyo (AFC Leopards)


Joseph Okumu (Gent, Belgium), Brian Mandela (South Africa), Johnstone Omurwa (Estrela, Portugal), Eric Ouma (AIK, Sweden), Andrew Juma (Bandari), David Ochieng (Mathare United), Maurice Owino (KCB), Collins Shichenje (AIK, Sweden), Mohamed Siraj (Bandari), Daniel Anyembe (Viborg, Denmark), Daniel Sakari (Tusker), Abud Omar (Kenya Police)


Amos Nondi (Ararat, Armenia), Richard Odada (Philadelphia Union, USA), Teddy Akumu (Sagan Tosu, Japan), Alpha Onyango (Gor Mahia), Joseph Mwangi (Nzoia Sugar), Kenneth Muguna (Azam, Tanzania), Abdallah Hasan (Bandari), Duke Abuya (Kenya Police), Wilkims Ochieng (FC Koper, Slovenia), Moses Mudavadi (KK Homeboyz), Alvin Mang’eni (Kenya Police), Hasan Beja (Nzoia Sugar), Victor Omune (AFC Leopards)


Benson Omalla (Gor Mahia), Elvis Rupia (Kenya Police), Michael Olunga (Al Duhail, Qatar), Masud Juma (Difaâ Hassani El Jadidi, Morocco), Alfred Scriven (IL Hødd, Norway)


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