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Could Oliech be back for AFCON?

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Former Harambee Stars skipper Dennis Oliech could be working towards a dramatic return to International Football as Kenya prepares for this year’s African Cup of Nations (AFCON) that will be held in Egypt.

It’s been almost two weeks after the striker made a return to the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) signing a two year deal with Gor Mahia reportedly worth more than Ksh 3 million, and he is already showing fans he still got it. Oliech has played three matches for the defending champions finding the net twice and is already winning Kenyans’ hearts once again.

He scored his debut goal against Posta Rangers in a narrow 2-1 victory and came off the bench to score a penalty and give an assist in a 4-1 victory against Mount Kenya United. His skills seem to be still at par besides being sidelined from top flight football for a couple of years.

The 33 year-old’s comeback to KPL is at a very great time as Harambee stars have qualified to play in the AFCON for the first time since 2004. Oliech was part of the team that played in 2004 AFCON when Kenya last played in the tournament. The then 19-year-old striker scored against Burkina Faso to give Harambee Stars their first win at AFCON. Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee, the then Coach, had fielded a team without players from either Gor Mahia or AFC Leopards. Oliech was playing for Qatar’s side Al-Arabi.
If Oliech continues with his tremendous form he just could be called back to the National team as his striking instincts are clearly still on the roof and Kenya could use his experience at the AFCON. A goal-poacher like Oliech could be a good back-up for Michael Olunga as the striker is currently being relied on to score spectaculars on his own, which he delivers.
Working with good ball suppliers in the names of Skipper and Tottenham Hotspurs’ midfielder Victor

Wanyama and K’Ogalo’s Francis Kahata, both strikers will get much of the ball and open chances which Kenyans trust they will finish off.

Oliech who was part of history when he scored in Kenya’s first win at the AFCON, could just be part of history again when he liaises with the likes of Olunga and Wanyama to help Harambee Stars reach the knockout stages for the first time in the tournament.

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Kevin Namunwa
Kevin Namunwahttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
Kevin Namunwa is a senior reporter for Business Today. Email at [email protected].
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