The decision to omit Gor Mahia players with vast continental experience from the Chan squad has not augured well with the Green Army, club administration and football stakeholders.
Skipper Haron Shakava and custodian Fredrick Odhiambo were the biggest casualties when coach Sebastian Migne named his 32-man provisional squad for the tournament which brings together players who ply their trades in local leagues.
The two played a massive role in the club’s historic qualification to the quarterfinals of the Confederations Cup and were expected to walk to the national team but Migne had other ideas.
The Frenchman instead roped in Gor duo of Charles Momanyi and Joash Onyango and further summoned KCB and Vihiga United skippers Mike Kibwage and Bernard Ochieng. Mathare United’s centre half Andrew Juma also made it to the squad.
Shakava one of the long-serving players at Gor has been a reliable centre half for the year Gor has featured in continental football while Odhiambo stood out this season in the absence of first-choice goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch.
The duo has also faced English side Everton twice in international friendlies. Gor Mahia Chief Executive Officer Omondi Aduda said: “I don’t know what he (Migne) considered before picking his players but I think experience would have guided him. We have players who were left out yet they have done well at that level.”
“We can’t just parade rookies who have impressed in few league matches in the Chan tournament at the expense of experienced players. The coach should blend his squad with players who have been there before and are doing well in the league.”
Kenya is set to face Burundi in the first round in August where the winner will face either Sudan or Tanzania.