Kenya national team coach Sebastien Migne has released his initial 30-man African Cup of Nations squad ahead of the biannual tournament that will be staged in Egypt, one of those players is striker Ayub Timbe.
Beijing Renhe winger Timbe makes a comeback after over a year out. The China based winger was slapped with a three-match ban for allegedly abusing match officials during the first qualification match against Sierra Leone in Freetown.
After serving the suspension, he underwent a knee surgery in January 2019 and there were doubts over his availability for the tournament, he was however been included in the initial squad.
“Timbe is back in the team. He has been training with his team and he tells me he is ready to play. We will look at him when he joins the team,” Migne told journalists in Kenya.
Michael Olunga, Clifton Miheso, Joseph Okumu and Whyvonne Isuza all make a comeback to the national fold after sitting out of recent national assignments.
Kenyan Premier top scorer Allan Wanga has been included in the squad after his recent fine form with Kakamega Homeboyz while KPL top scorers chart runners up, Enosh Ochieng has been overlooked. Masud Juma who has not played any competitive football since last year makes the cut.
Migne is expected to axe four players from the team before departing for France at the end of the May for a residential camp.
After camping for three weeks in Europe, the squad will be trimmed further to 23 players who will then travel to Egypt for the tournament where Kenya will be making a comeback after 15 years of absence.
Migne has named a squad consisting largely of players who featured in the qualifiers. The only uncapped players in the team are Sweden based Christopher Mbamba and in-form Sofapaka striker John Avire.
Goalkeepers: Patrick Matasi (St. Georges, Ethiopia), Faruk Shikhalo (Bandari FC, Kenya), John Oyemba (Kariobangi Sharks, Kenya), Brian Bwire (Kariobangi Sharks)
Defenders: Philemon Otieno (Gor Mahia-Kenya), Musa Mohammed (Nkana FC-Zambia), Joash Onyango (Gor Mahia-Kenya), Abud Omar (Sepsi Sfântu-Romania), David Owino (Zesco United-Zambia), Bernard Ochieng (Vihiga United-Kenya), Brian Mandela (Maritzburg United-South Africa), Erick Ouma (Vasalund IF-Sweden), Joseph Okumu
Midfielders: Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspurs-England), Anthony Akumu (Zesco United-Zambia), Eric Johanna (IF Bromma-Sweden), Ismael Gonzales (UD Las Palmas-Spain), Francis Kahata (Gor Mahia-Kenya), Dennis Odhiambo (Sofapaka FC-Kenya), Johanna Omollo (Cercle Brugge-Belgium), Christopher Mbamba (Oskarshamns AIK-Sweden), Whyvonne Isuza (AFC Leopards, Kenya), Clifton Miheso (Portugal)
Forwards: Paul Were (AFC Leopards-Kenya), Ayub Timbe (Beijing Renhe-China), Michael Olunga (Kashiwa Reysol-Japan), Allan Wanga (Kakamega Homeboyz-Kenya), John Avire (Sofapaka), Masud Juma (Libya), Ochieng Ovella (IF Vasalund, Sweden)