Western Stima goalkeeper vows to make the most of his call up to Stars squad
An excited Samuel Odhiambo says he will not be satisfied with warming Harambee Stars bench at the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Uganda.
This 12-nation regional football tournament kicks off in Kampala and Jinja on Saturday and the Western Stima custodian has been drafted in Stars squad by coach Francis Kimanzi as a replacement for youngster Brian Bwire who injured his right hip.
Ulinzi Stars keeper Timothy Odhiambo is expected to be Kimanzi’s first-choice goalkeeper at the 12-day tournament but his namesake says this matter will not be that straightforward.
“Life is about taking chances when they come your way,” explained Samuel, who has impressed in the Kenyan Premier League over the past three seasons.
“Timothy is a very good goalkeeper and also my friend. If he plays, well and good. But if I’m handed the opportunity, I will make the most of it. We are the tournament defending champions and so we have set high standards for ourselves.”
Besides Odhiambo, Kimanzi has also handed call ups to Tusker’s lanky striker Timothy Otieno and Bandari’s Mohammed Katana.
Stars squad, mainly consisting of locally-based players, was expected to report to camp at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, on Monday evening.
Kenya is pooled in Group C alongside Tanzania, Djibouti, and Zanzibar. Hosts Uganda, Burundi and Eritrea are in Group ‘A’ after Ethiopia pulled out while Group ‘B’ has guest team DR Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, and Somalia.
The top two teams in each group, as well as the two best third place finishers from three groups will proceed to the tournament’s quarter-final.
The tournament winners will take home Sh3 million in prize money.