Kenya Under-17s upbeat ahead of Cecafa tourney in Rwanda
Coast Region players, Elias Khamis [right] and Ali Hamisi in action at Mbaraki Sports Club in Mombasa. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

The Kenya Under-17 national men’s football team are confident of finishing top of this year’s Cecafa Under-17 championships to be held in Rwanda from December 12 to 22.

The national team coach Oliver Page named the final squad of 25 players who officials jetted out of the county for Rwanda on Tuesday as they also seek to make history by qualifying for next year’s U17 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) to be played in Morocco.

Kenya has been pooled in Group A alongside South Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia, while Group B comprises hosts Rwanda, Tanzania, Sudan and Djibouti.

The squad largely features players who formed part of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Center of Excellence that reached the final of the CECAFA U17 Championships last year.

Coach Page has also included players scouted from the fortnight-long national selection exercise that saw a selection panel traverse the country in search of emerging talent.

England-based James Gachago is set to captain the side, while last years’ CECAFA U15 Championships best goalkeeper Alvin Odari will be out to prove a point in the U17 edition.

Team coach Page said they are ready for the challenge.

“We have a good team of players selected across the whole country whom I trust can deliver positive results when called upon. We have been training well and heading t Rwanda with one ambition of winning the championship,” said Page.

The finalists of the tourney will earn an automatic slot to the U17 Africa Cup of Nations.

Kenya Under-17s upbeat ahead of Cecafa tourney in Rwanda
Coast Region players, Kelvin Kioko [right] and Abdul Razak fight for control of the ball at Mbaraki Sports Club in Mombasa. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

U17 National Team to CECAFA

Goalkeepers

Alvin Odari (FKF Centre of Excellence), Ibrahim Wanzala (St Peters Mumias) and Daniel Ochieng (Ringa Secondary School).

Defenders

Abdikadir Mursal Harun (Isiolo Barracks), Salimu Hamisi Omari (Mwenza Secondary School), Yasin Rajab Umar (FKF Centre of Excellence), Rabok Ryan Wesley Ogam (Kakamega High School), James Gachago (Moorland School, UK), Irungu Sigmunn Maina (Estleigh High School) and Opande Faiz Ouma (Aquinas High School).

Midfielders

Munyao Linus Kaikai (Kakamega High), Injehu Kevin Wangaya (FKF CeNTRE OF Excellence), Wafula Isaa Lumumba (St Anthony Boys), Vihenda Silas Maloba (Kakamega High), Kahindi Nyale Khamis (FKF Centre of Excellence), Teddy Sirma (FKF Centre of Excellence), Omondi Andreas Odhiambo (FKF Centre of Excellence) and Phabian Sheldon Odhiambo (Ongata Secondary School).

Forwards

Jefwa Majaliwa Charo (Tandee High School), Nduni Ali Hamisi (Shimba Hills Secondary School, Harel Gil (Claremont School), Muendo Kenn Kyalo (St Anthony Boys), Ouma Victor Otieno (Jamhuri High School), Ochieng Baron (Dagoretti High School) and Koome Dennis (Kanda High School).

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