At least five Kenya Under 23 National soccer team players could be heading to the french League after they were spotted recently by scouts during their recent trip to Guinea and Senegal.

National under 23 coach James Nandwa said the scouts were impressed by the team’s performance that saw the boys receive thunderous cheers in both matches.

U23 Coach James Nandwa © Reuters

Nandwa said the scouts were monitoring the players from France during the matches together with others who had been deployed on the ground during the two friendly matches.

The coach hinted that Thika United goalkeeper Joel Bataro, AFC Leopards defender Martin Imbalambala, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) midfielder Paul Mungai, Gor Mahia defender David Owino and AFC Leopards midfielder Bernard Mangoli as the possible targets.

If the deal goes through, they will now join Kenya’s top striker Dennis Oliechj who plies his trade with AJ Auxierre. Nandwa said the scouts were surprised that the Kenyan players were not professionals from the way they displayed their talent .

He said they are evaluating the players from the footage of the matches and will be contacting them soon. “They took our contacts and we shall soon be hearing from them,” said the former Kenyan Premier League (KPL) side Karuturi Sports tactician.

The coach is optimistic that the team will become stronger by day and will win in the coming matches if maintained. The youngsters lost 1-0 to Senagal but recovered to hold Guinea 1-1.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) National Executive Committee member Hussein Terry who is also A Fifa agent praised the under-23 side for a commendable performance and suggested that some of the players in the side should be considered for the senior team.

“We are very proud of the performance and it shows that we have plenty of talent in this country that needs to be identified for the senior side,” he said.

The result ended Kenya’s away losing streak in eight years. It is the first time since 2003 that a Kenyan national team has not lost away.

This was the second friendly match for the hastily assembled junior side who lost to Senegal 1-0.

By Fred Maingi, ©



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