Kariobangi Sharks goalkeeper Oyemba to fight for starting position in Afcon

Kariobangi Sharks Goalkeeper John Oyemba during KPL match against Sofapaka FC at Kenyatta Stadium Stadium. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]
Kariobangi Sharks have been in the SportPesa Premier League (SPL) for the last three years and in that short period have won the Shield Cup and a regional tournament.

For a team that has just had a taste of top-flight football, this is a big achievement and goalkeeper John Oyemba has been key in these achievements.

Oyemba is among the four goalkeepers named by Harambee Stars coach Sebastian Migne for his Africa Cup of Nations training camp in France later this month and the tournament in Egypt next month.

In the first season in 2017, Oyemba helped Kariobangi Sharks finish third on the log and with it was named the best goalkeeper of the year during the  Association of Sports Journalists of Kenya (ASJAK) inaugural awards beating more experienced Patrick Matasi who was then at Posta Rangers.

It was not difficult why ASJAK picked out Oyemba for the award. He kept 18 clean sheets for Sharks during that season that they finished third.

Furthermore, the team also made it to the semi-finals of the Shield Cup, which was a big achievement for them and it set the stage for their maiden victory one year later.

Kariobangi Sharks coach William Muluya who has worked with Oyemba since he was at Jamuhuri High School believes he deserves to be included in the national team.

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“He has a big body which comes in handy during one on one situations. His aerial ability is also very good as he is able to cut off cross balls. The fact that he was selected means he is able to fight for his place in the team. Even if he does not, he is a good team player who is always supportive of whoever is ahead of him,” said Muluya.

After finishing High School at Jamuhuri, Oyemba played for Nairobi Stima from where he was snapped up by Kariobangi Sharks.

He also played for Mathare Youth and represented the team in the annual Norway Cup tournament.

His biggest moment for the club was early this year when he helped his club to win the regional SportPesa Cup in Tanzania with great saves against local club Yanga.

The player was recalled back to Harambee Stars ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ghana in March but he sat on the bench.

Perennial injuries have meant that he has not been able to play as many matches as possible for his club but the fact that Migne has worked with him over a long period of time could have influenced his call-up.

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Jeff OyembaKariobangi SharksSportPesa Premier LeagueSPL