The SportPesa All Stars that will play English Premier League side Hull City in England on February 27 was named on Saturday at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
Sixteen-year-old Joshua Otieno of Sony Sugar got the break of his career as he was named in the tour party of SportPesa Premier League’s elite players, alongside little-known Thika United midfielder Christopher Oruchum, veteran forward Moses “Dube” Odhiambo of Sofapaka and Posta Rangers’ Geoffrey Kataka, who has been sidelined by injury for close to two years now.
Kenyan Premier League Goalkeeper of the Year Patrick Matasi (Posta Rangers), top scorer John Mark Makwatta (Ulinzi Stars), prolific striker Allan Wanga (Tusker) and Gor Mahia youngster Amos Nondi were also named in the 18-man squad.
Failing to make the cut were AFC Leopards striker Paul Kiongera, Posta Rangers defender Joackins Atudo, 2014 Player of the Year Anthony Ndolo and Chemelil Sugar’s Victor Majid among others.
Experienced James Situma, named team captain, told Kpl.co.ke said that he was looking forward to the experience of playing in England, and asked the axed players to keep working hard to achieve their dreams.
“Playing against an EPL club is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I am thrilled to have made it this far. I am excited about the trip because I am sure there will be a lot to learn from the experience we shall have there,” he said.
Kenyan champion Tusker have the highest representation in the All Stars team with Allan Wanga, Humphrey Mieno, Osborne Monday, James Situma and David Okello in the frame.
Gor Mahia, whose players joined the training camp a week later than the rest after a club tour to Sudan where they played in a friendly against Al Hilal in Khartoum, have two players Amos Nondi and Harun Shakava.
Ingwe are represented by two players namely defender Robinson Kamura and midfielder Harun Nyaka.
A provisional team of 47 players was earlier selected and trained by Hull City coaches Richard O’Donnelle, Daniel O’Keeffe, Terry Boyle and Dean Windass.
Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi will now handle the Hull-bound team with Nairobi City Stars’ Neville Pudo the team manager.
Nairobi-based Sport betting firm SportPesa are the shirt sponsors of Hull City who gained promotion to the English Premiership - the most popularly football league in the world - last year.
SportPesa All Star squad: Goalkeepers - Patrick Matasi (Posta Rangers), David Okello (Tusker); Defenders - Harun Shakava (Gor Mahia), Robinson Kamura (AFC Leopards), Wesley Onguso (Western Stima), Osborne Monday (Tusker), Cliff Kasuti (Ulinzi Stars), Chris Oruchum (Thika United), James Situma (Tusker); Midfielders - David King'atua (Bandari), Harun Nyakha (AFC Leopards), Humphrey Mieno (Tusker), Moses 'Dube' Odhiambo (Sofapaka), Joshua Otieno (Sony Sugar); Strikers - Allan Wanga (Tusker), John Mark Makwatta (Ulinzi Stars), Geoffrey Kataka (Posta Rangers), Amos Nondi (Gor Mahia)