What Harambee Stars call-up means to Nzoia Sugar’s Mwangi and Beja
NAIROBI, Kenya, March 19 – Nzoia Sugar duo of Joseph Mwangi and Hassan Beja say they are determined to make the most of their first call-up to Harambee Stars, and become mainstays of the national team.
The two are part of a local-based contingent that reported to camp on Friday in readiness for Stars’ international friendly against Iran on March 28 in Tehran.
The 26-year-old Mwangi, who has been one of the standouts for the Bungoma-based side in the FKF Premier League, said he is looking forward to interacting and learning from his peers who plie their trade beyond Kenyan boarders.
“So far, it has been a great experience. Being in the same camp with the foreign-based players and those who have been here before is a very big boost to those of us who have earned our first call-ups. It is a great opportunity to learn something new,” the attacking midfielder said.
Mwangi, making his debut season in the topflight, has so far scored nine goals in 20 games for the sugar millers this season.
Alongside Beja, Nzoia have been the surprise package of the league, lying sixth with 35 points – seven behind leaders Gor Mahia.
Beja said the mood in the camp is at an all-time high and that the players are pushing each other to be the best.
“It has been wonderful so far…it feels great to be here. I have talked to some of the players and we have been encouraging each other to do our best. It is like a family…there are good players and together we can help each become better,” Beja said.
The two will be hoping to put a smile on the face of coach Engin Firat and get the nod in a crowded midfield that comprises experienced heads such as former Gor Mahia enforcer Anthony Teddy Akumu and his Tanzanian-based counterpart Kenneth Muguna, Kenya Police’s Duke Abuya as well as American-based Richard Odada.
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