KPL All Stars to play Spanish sides Cordoba, Sevilla
The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) All Stars team will face Cordoba FC and Sevilla Atletico, two clubs that compete in the Spanish league’s second tier.
The final team of 18 will be named on Wednesday by head coach Stanley Okumbi for the European tour and will travel early next week to Spain.
The team comprising of the country’s top players selected from a pool of 400 will face Cordoba on the July 19 before tackling Atletico three days later.
In the provisional 20-man squad named on Monday for the 10-day trip, Tusker FC, Kariobangi Sharks and Gor Mahia dominate with three players each in the team.
According to the La Liga delegate to Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, Oliver Dodd, the friendlies are a good chance to expose the Kenyan players to the quality of football in Spain.
“We are confident these matches will give exposure to the Kenyan players and it will also give them a chance to play against quality opposition which will most likely help in their development playing for their clubs and national team,” noted Oliver.
“We are also glad that a Kenyan team is coming over to Spain and this will give our teams opportunities to come against teams from East Africa, which is a first, ” added Oliver.
Okumbi also noted the challenges faced in selecting the team with some players lacking important and crucial travel documents that automatically denied them selection into the team.
“As usual in Kenya you find some players don’t have documents despite being really good for selection. I hope Football Kenya Federation (FKF) will soon be able to help get players’ documents for all players from age group teams to ensure they are available for international duties,” said the coach.
FKF president Nick Mwendwa lauded the effort made in exposing the Kenyan based players to international football, noting results will manifest soon.
“FKF is delighted to be part of this project and we are here to fully support the program. We appreciate the effort made by La Liga,” told Mwendwa.
This in line with the partnership agreement entered two months ago between KPL and Spanish La Liga that will see the local outfit play against the latter’s clubs periodically. Another KPL select side faced Hull City in England earlier this year where they lost 2 – 1.
Goalkeepers: Faruk Shikalo (Posta Rangers), Mathias Kigoya (Sofapaka), Peter Odhiambo (Gor Mahia)
Defenders: Timothy Omwenga (Kariobangi Sharks), Maurice Ojwang’ (Western Stima), Robinson Kamura (AFC), Martin Kizza (Tusker), Musa Mohammed (Gor);
Midfielders: Ovella Ochieng, Patilah Omoto (Kariobangi Sharks), Benson Maina (Thika Utd), Boniface Muchiri (Sony Sugar), Clinton Kisiavu (Nakumatt), Jackson Macharia (Tusker), Simon Mbugua (Posta Rangers), Ernest Wendo (Gor), Humphrey Mieno (Tusker)
Forwards: Victor Omondi (Nzoia), Vincent Oburu (AFC), Samuel Onyango (Ulinzi).
Reported by Bernard Ndong and Abdi Rizak.