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Hopeful Meja reveals ambition to become regular Harambee Star after maiden call-up

The Tusker forward earned his first senior call-up for the national team after stellar performances in the Premier League

Tusker striker Henry Meja has explained how he hopes to cement a place in the Kenya national team after earning a maiden call by Harambee Stars head coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee.

Mulee named a 28-man squad for local players who are expected to begin training in preparations for the upcoming African Cup of Nations qualifiers against Egypt and Togo.

Meja – who has scored six league goals this season – was called up alongside Elvis Rupia of AFC Leopards and Erick Kapaito of Kariobangi Sharks. The youngster is expected to face stiff competition from Rupia and Kapaito, who have scored 10 and 12 Premier League goals, respectively.

“I really feel happy because this is something that I have been working on for a while now and it was my dream to don the colours of the national team one day,” Meja told the club’s website.

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“I feel privileged to have been called up and now I need to work hard and show that I merit to be there.

“This is not an opportunity for me to feel comfortable but rather a challenge to work hard. I want to be consistently present in the national team and slowly cement a place there.

“I know it is not easy because the competition is tough but I am determined to go all out and do it.”

Meja was part of the U20 Cecafa team which took part in the 2020 edition and hopes to have a smooth transition into the senior team. Gor Mahia’s Benson Omalla is among the forwards who were also summoned for the preparations.

The Harambee Stars will play the Pharaohs in Nairobi on March 22 before a date with Togo – whom they drew with 1-1 at Kasarani – eight days after the Egypt encounter. Kenya will also be engaged in the World Cup preliminary qualifiers between June and November this year.

Kenya’s Provisional Squad:

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Goalkeepers: Brian Bwire (Kariobangi Sharks), James Saruni (Ulinzi Stars), Joseph Okoth (KCB), Peter Odhiambo (Wazito)

Defenders: Johnstone Omurwa (Wazito), Michael Kibwage (Sofapaka), Samuel Olwande (Kariobangi Sharks), Nahashon Alambi (KCB), Bonface Onyango (Kariobangi Sharks), David Owino (KCB), Daniel Sakari (Kariobangi Sharks), Baraka Badi (KCB)

Midfielders: Lawrence Juma (Sofapaka), Kenneth Muguna (Gor Mahia), Collins Shichenje (AFC Leopards), Micheal Mutinda (KCB), Musa Masika (Wazito), John Macharia (Gor Mahia), Reagan Otieno (KCB), James Mazembe (Kariobangi Sharks), Oliver Maloba (Nairobi City Stars), Bonface Muchiri (Tusker), Kevin Kimani (Wazito), Abdalla Hassan (Bandari)

Forwards: Erick Kapaito (Kariobangi Sharks), Elvis Rupia (AFC Leopards), Henry Meja (Tusker), Benson Omalla (Gor Mahia).

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