Gor Mahia striker Michael Olunga will not be in the traveling squad as the Kenya U23 team travel to Botswana for the opening round of the 2016 Olympic qualifiers.
The Kenya Under-23 team departs for Lobatse via Gaborone this evening ahead of tomorrow’s preliminary, first leg clash at the Lobatse Sports Complex. Team Kenya is coached by former Gor Mahia coach Bobby Williamson.
Olunga, who studies Geospatial Engineering at the Technical University of Kenya,has been excused from the match this weekend, due to end of semester exams.
As for Gor Mahia fans, they will likely not be dissapointed that Olunga will not travel to Botswana.Staying in Kenya will leave him more rested for Gor Mahia’s next match.
The last time the Kenya U23 side competed was against Egypt when Kenya lost 4-1 on aggregate. Two Gor Mahia players, Olunga and Timothy Otieno played in the return leg at Machakos. Olunga proved a handful for the Egyptians. Kenya’s goal which came from a penalty was scored as a result of Olunga being brought down in the penalty box.
In Olunga’s absence, coach Williamson will depend on Enock Agwanda whose form of late has been below expectations especially for a player who 3 years ago was touted as the next Dennis Oliech.
Coach Williamson for his part has yet to impress as Harambee stars coach and will be hard pressed to conjure up a result.
“To be honest we never played that badly against Egypt. The lessons learnt from those games is that it is important to get something in the away matches. Our recent friendly fixtures in Seychelles will be key” Williamson told Daily Nation Sport.
Of late, Kenya’s record against teams from southern Africa has not been stellar. Last year it was Lesotho who eliminated Kenya from the AFCON 2014 qualifiers and in 2013, Botswana beat Kenya 2-1 in the COSAFA cup.