Olunga to raise Kenya's standards in Egypt

By Gilbert Wandera: Wednesday, June 12th 2019 at 02:20 GMT +3 | Football
Harambee Stars' striker Michael Olunga celebrates after scoring in a past match. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Despite qualifying for this month’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, the striking force of Harambee Stars has been a major concern.

Indeed as he named his 27 man team for a three week camp in France, Harambee Stars coach Sebastian Migne admitted as much.

However, despite the struggles to get goals, Japan-based striker Michael Olunga has stood out and he will, therefore, be under pressure to replicate the form he has had in the qualifiers as the team seeks to make it to the second round.

Just like former Harambee Stars captain, Dennis Oliech was credited with sending the team to the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations finals, credit goes to Olunga for the success of the 2019 campaign.

With Migne having overlooked Allan Wanga and Zambian based Jesse Were, the focus will be on Olunga to guide the team through the next stage of the tournament.

While most players would feel the pressure of such a big task, Olunga insists the success of the team has been built on teamwork and not an individual and believes it will be so in Egypt.

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“It is not about me but teamwork and if get the opportunity to play, then I will give it my all because I am a patriot. 

 “It has been a long journey for the team to reach here and when we will step into that pitch, for the opening match, we are going to do our best and make Kenyans proud.

“I believe everyone in this camp right now had a dream because none of this players have ever played in this competition before I am not any different, and everyone has an objective to go out there and do the best and have a good performance.”

Olunga said the team is looking to build on the solid performance during the qualifiers to pick positive results in Egypt.

 “We had a good qualification campaign and being rated among the teams that conceded the fewest number of goals and it was something very positive and as a player, I would like to give something positive and I am sure our display will help us put us in the football map in Africa,” Olunga added.

He believes the tournament will also provide a great platform for the players to be scouted.

“We have good talent back home and due to lack of playing in such tournaments, no one can ever spot them, we want to fight for the young players, who are back home to also come out and be the next Olunga, the next Wanyama or the next Oliech.”

BIO

Name: Michael Olunga

Age: 24

Position: Striker

Goals for Harambee Stars: 14

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