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The former K’Ogalo custodian is happy to see the return of the Finland-based goalkeeper after a five-year absence

Mike Kisaghi has lauded the move taken by Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi to recall veteran goalkeeper Arnold Origi to the squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations matches.

Origi, who last featured for Kenya five years ago, was handed a shock recall by Kimanzi, who named a 34-man provisional squad that will also play friendly matches against Sudan and Zambia before the double-header against Comoros in November.

The former Gor Mahia has said the return of Origi will be good for the national team as it will create good competition between the goalkeepers, who have been featuring for the team in his absence.

Asked whether keeper Patrick Matasi and the rest should be worried now that Origi is back, Kisaghi told Goal: Why? It should not, he [Matasi] should continue working hard as he has been, which made him number one.

“It should not be a guarantee that Origi is coming back straight as number one, he should also fight it out by working hard. As I said it will make all three of them better and so improve the goalkeeping department.”

On whether Origi deserved the call-up after the long absence, Kisaghi, who also played for the national team said: “I don’t see anything wrong with it.

“It is healthy for all those who have been called up, they are all good for you don’t get called up if you aren’t. Competition is good in all positions, and yes it makes you better.”

Apart from Origi, Kimanzi also named Clarke Oduor of Championship side Barnsley and Masoud Juma of JS Kabylie in the squad but left out strikers Jesse Were, and John Makwatta, both who feature for Zesco United in the Zambian Super League.

Others left out are St. George goalkeeper Patrick Matasi, who has been the number one for the past few years, and his second-choice Farouk Shikhalo, who turns out for Young Africans (Yanga SC) of Tanzania.

However, Kenya might end up engaging Zambia and Comoros without key internationals whose travel may be hindered by the coronavirus restrictions.

They include midfielder and captain Victor Wanyama of Montreal Impact in Canada, striker Michael Olunga of Kashiwa Reysol in Japan, and midfielder Johanna Omollo of Cercle Brugge K.S.V. in Belgium.

Full Squad;

Goalkeepers: Arnold Origi (HIFK, Finland), Ian Otieno (Zesco United, Zambia), Timothy Odhiambo (Ulinzi Stars, Kenya).

Defenders: Brian Mandela (Unattached), Joash Onyango (Simba, Tanzania), Joseph Okumu (Elfsborg, Sweden), Harun Shakava (Nkana, Zambia), Clarke Oduor (Barnsley, England), Hillary Wandera (Tusker, Kenya), Samuel Olwande (Kariobangi Sharks, Kenya), David Owino (Mathare United, Kenya), Johnstone Omurwa (Wazito, Kenya), Collins Shichenje (AFC Leopards, Kenya), Andrew Juma (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Philemon Otieno (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Badi Baraka (KCB, Kenya).

Midfielders: Kenneth Muguna (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Victor Wanyama (Impact Montreal, Canada), Francis Kahata (Simba, Tanzania), Eric Johanna (Jonkoping’s Sodra IF, Sweden), Cliff Nyakeya (Masr FC, Egypt), Antony Akumu (Kaiser Chief, South Africa), Johanna Omolo (Cercle Brugge K.S.V, Belgium), Ayub Timbe (Beijing Renhe, China), Brian Musa (Wazito, Kenya), Lawrence Juma (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Katana Mohamed (Isloch, Belarus), Austin Otieno (AFC Leopards, Kenya).

Forwards: Michael Olunga (Kashiwa Reysol, Japan), Elvis Rupia (AFC Leopards, Kenya), Masud Juma (JS Kabylie, Algeria), Timothy Otieno (NAPSA Stars, Zambia), John Avire (Tanta FC, Egypt), Oscar Wamalwa (Ulinzi Stars, Kenya).

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September 29, 2020
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