Harambee Stars midfielder Dennis Odhiambo has downplayed the underdog tag as the Kenya National team gears up for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.
Having been in the cold for close to 15 years, Kenya is set to come up against Algeria, Tanzania, and Senegal in Group C of Africa’s premier national competition.
Odhiambo, however, believes the team has come of age and stands a chance of delivering positive results on the big stage.
“We are not favorites, but we have worked hard to get to where we are now, and we’ll try our best to make our fans happy,” said Dennis Odhiambo
“Being in the team is a big motivation and I’d like to thank the government as well as Football Kenya Federation for seeing to it that we have adequate preparations for the tournament,” added the Sofapaka FC midfielder.
Odhiambo is part of five defending midfielders called up to the team, which has so far had four training sessions since touching base at the French Rugby Federation, Marcoussis Cedex.
Two friendly matches against Madagascar and DR Congo on June 7 and June 15 respectively, have been lined up in preparation for the tourney.
Stars have been boosted by the arrival in camp of Sweden based forward Christopher Mbamba, who is now among 18 players already in camp. The remaining nine, who are still on duty at their respective parent clubs, will be checking in in due course.
AFCON Provisional Squad
Players in bold will be checking in in the course of the week
Patrick Matasi, John Oyemba, Faruk Shikalo
Abud Omar, Joash Onyango, Joseph Okumu, Musa Mohammed, David Owino, Bernard Ochieng, Brian Mandela, Philemon Otieno, Eric Ouma
Victor Wanyama, Anthony Akumu, Ismael Gonzalez, Ayub Timbe, Francis Kahata, Ovella Ochieng, Dennis Odhiambo, Eric Johanna, Paul Were, Cliffton Miheso, Johanna Omollo
John Avire, Masud Juma, Christopher Mbamba, Michael Olunga