Why Olunga missed Ethiopia flight
Harambee Stars striker Micheal Olunga missed out on the team’s trip to Ethiopia on Saturday because he “did not know the flight’s departure time,” Nairobi News understands.
Stars’ departure for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Saturday morning to feature in the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, minus their star player had elicited speculation among their fans on social media.
But it has since emerged that the Gor Mahia player remained behind due to communication breakdown.
“He featured for his club in the GOtv Shield quarter final win over Administration Police but there was communication breakdown regarding the exact time of the team’s departure. By the time he was in the know, the team was already at the airport,” a source close to the player told Nairobi News.
The turn of events necessitated separate travel arrangements to be made for Olunga to link up with the team on Saturday evening.
It is not clear however if Olunga will be part of the Stars squad that plays against Uganda in both team’s opening match of the tournament on Sunday evening.
At the same time, Harambee Stars coach Bobby Williamson insists “there will be no emotions” when his team lines up against Uganda in a Group B clash of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup at the Addis Ababa Stadium on Sunday evening.
Williamson, a former Scotland international and EPL side West Brom forward, enjoyed a successful spell as the coach of Uganda Cranes between 2008 and 2013.
During that period he managed to win four regional crowns and also helped the team qualify for the Africa Nations Championship (Chan) and All Africa Games.
The Scot has also been credited with bringing through a crop of talented players in Uganda such as Moses Oloya, Geoffrey “Baba” Kizito and Geoffrey Walusimbi.
The 54 year old was however sacked by the Ugandan federation and later took over the Harambee Stars job, after helping Gor Mahia clinch the Kenyan Premier League title in 2013.
“There will be no emotions really, we have a job to do,” Williamson said of the match will be his first meeting with Uganda since he left the Cranes more than two years ago.
“I am proud of my achievements with Uganda and hope to replicate them with Kenya and even do more,” he added.
Williamson has carried his best available squad to Ethiopia, including a strike force that has Allan Wanga, Micheal Olunga, Jesse Were and Kacob Keli.
Kenya, who are the tournament’s defending champions, will also face Zanzibar and Burundi in the group stages. The tournament winners will pocket Sh 2 million in prize money.