When the Kenyan National football team steps into Egypt for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, 23 players will be looking to make debuts at the continent’s premier national competition.

One Christopher Mbamba, meanwhile, will be looking to make his debut for the senior national team.

Born in Zimbabwe to a Namibian father and Kenyan mother, Mbamba played his formative football in Sweden, where he earned callups to the youth national teams. He, however, had Kenya in mind, and it’s not until March this year that he got a chance to audition for a place in the team.

“It is the dream of every footballer to play for the national team. I played for the Swedish youth teams but always had Kenya in the back of my mind, so when this opportunity came, I took it one time,” said Mbamba.

Christopher Mbamba

Christopher Mbamba takes part in an early morning gym session during Harambee Stars camp in France

The IK Oddevold forward checked into Harambee Stars’ camp in France on Sunday, but will first have to fight it out for a place in the final 23-man squad set to travel to Egypt on June 19, 2019.

“When it comes to (National team) selection, there is always bound to be different opinions. I am not one to be worried too much (about negative energy towards me). Of course, people are entitled to their own opinion but my job is to represent my country. For me I’m here to do my best,” he said.

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Mbamba is part of four forwards in the 26-man provisional squad and is confident that he has what it takes to deliver at the top level.

His first chance could be when Kenya comes up against Madagascar in a friendly match slated for on June 7, 2019, in Paris. Harambee Stars will also face off with the Democratic Republic of Congo on June 15, 2019, in Madrid, Spain, as they gear up for AFCON, set to kick off on June 24, 2019.

Also Read: Find out who has (not) arrived in camp in France as preparations take shape