The SportPesa All Stars team that is scheduled to take on Hull City next month in England was named on Saturday, with 16-year-old Joshua Otieno and the little known midfielder Christopher Oruchum making the 18-man shortlist.
Veteran midfielder Moses Odhiambo was also named in the team, together with 2016 SportPesa Premier League goalkeeper of the year Patrick Matasi and last season’s golden boot winner John Mark Makwatta.
Former Gor Mahia striker Paul Kiongera, Posta Rangers defender Joackins Atudo, 2014 Player of the Year Anthony Ndolo and Chemelil Sugar’s Victor Majid were among the nine players who did not make the shortlist.
Speaking to Sunday Nation Sport, a delighted team captain James Situma said that he was looking forward to the experience of playing in England, and urged the axed players to keep working hard to achieve their dreams.
“Playing against an EPL club is a-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I am thrilled to have made it this far. I am excited about the trip because I am sure there will be a lot to learn from the experience we shall have there,” he said.
The team is expected to break camp and return to their respective clubs for preseason, before converging for specialised training on February 17.
Tusker, who won the title last season, had the highest representation in the final list with Allan Wanga, Humphrey Mieno, James Situma and David Okello all making the shortlist.
Utility man Osborne Monday, who ditched Tusker for newly promoted Kariobangi Sharks early this month, also made the cut.
The team comprises local based players who were part of a larger all-star team of 47 players which was culled down over a period of two weeks by four Hull City development coaches.
Richard O’Donnelle, Daniel O’Keeffe, Terry Boyle and Dean Windass were actively involved in the fortnight-long training session at Kasarani, with help from Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi.
Okumbi will take over the coaching duties from now henceforth, while Nairobi City Stars team manager Neville Pudo will serve in the same capacity.
The match against Hull City will be played on February 27 at the KCOM Stadium in Kingston Upon Hull, England, with the return match being held in Kenya this July.
Goalkeepers: Patrick Matasi, David Okello
Defenders: Harun Shakava, Robinson Kamura, Wesley Onguso, Osborne Monday, James Situma, Joshua Otieno
Midfielders: Cliff Kasuti, David Kingatua, Christopher Oruchum, Harun Nyakha, Humphrey Mieno, Moses Odhiambo, Amos Nondi
Strikers: Allan Wanga, John Makwatta, Geoffrey Kataka.