Ever since he came back to the footballing scene, former Harambee Stars Captain Dennis Oliech has won the hearts of not only Gor Mahia fans but the entire Kenyan football family. While most fans have been taking it to social media to demand for the striker to be included in Kenya’s squad for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), the Coach thought otherwise.
Fans who were optimistic for the Gor Mahia striker to return to the national team might just have their hearts broken as Harambee Stars coach Sebastian Migne does not think the striker has what it takes to represent Kenya just yet. Oliech ha,s however, according to fans, proved that he is still as talented as he was before his early retirement. His latest goal against Zamalek at Kasarani was the icing on the cake to fans continuously demanding for the former skipper be returned to the squad.
Migne has said that the striker still has to prove his worth in the squad. Even though Oliech has bagged four goals for K’Ogalo since his return to soccer, Migne does not think the striker is clinical in front of goal.
“It is important for Oliech to prove himself by scoring for his club, not just penalty shootouts. He must show his quality,” he said and added: “If I want him say for AFCON, or for the Chan qualifiers, I know where I will find him. But we’ll need to have a discussion with him because what I want is quality.”
His fitness can also come into question as the 33-year-old has been out of top flight football for a long time and it would take time for him to regain the fitness level he had before calling it quits. Migne however rules out the idea of including Oliech in the squad because of his widely acclaimed legendary status.
Some fans on social media suggested that Oliech be given back his captainship, saying current captain Victor Wanyama has not been enjoying first team football in England where he plays for Tottenham Hotspurs after his return from injury. Migne has, however, said that the captainship will remain with Wanyama and Oliech can only join the team as a motivator having been a legend since his golden days.
“I would like to discuss his mentality; if he is ready to come back not necessarily as a captain or as a first team player, but maybe as a simple player in the group to give his best in terms of experience and be a good teacher to the youth,” Migne said.
The national team call up, however, is for the African Nations Championship (Chan) which is not until 2020 and Oliech has a chance to play should he improve his fitness. The team that has been called also lacks other key local based players like Joakins Atudo and Francis Kahata. It is not over for Oliech, he still has a chance to make it to the Kenyan squad.