The towering forward is happy to have been handed the armband for Harambee Stars as they face the Pharaohs in Nairobi

Kenya forward Michael Olunga has termed as ‘a huge honour’ to lead Harambee Stars against Egypt in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match on Thursday.

The Al Duhail SC striker has been handed the armband to lead the side after head coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee omitted regular captain Victor Wanyama from the squad for the two matches against Egypt and Togo.

While Mulee is yet to give the reason why Wanyama never made it to his squad, Olunga has been confirmed as the captain, and speaking to Goal on Tuesday, the former Gor Mahia striker said he will use the opportunity to influence young players in the squad so they can pick a vital win against the Pharaohs.

“Of course it is a huge responsibility, in fact first to be called to the national team is a huge responsibility, you are carrying the whole country on your back, so first of all being called up to the national team is a huge responsibility,” Olunga told Goal on Tuesday.

“But I am honoured for the coach to select me to captain the team against Egypt, I feel humbled because there is something the coach has seen in me so of course being among the players with experience in the squad, we will strive to influence the young upcoming players.

“If you look at the kind of game we are going to play. We will need a lot of character from the squad and that will be our key thing and also our attitude will also be very crucial ahead of such matches.”

Meanwhile, Goal can also reveal defender Joseph Okumu and striker Erick Kapaito have been released from camp after they picked minor injuries during a training session on Tuesday.

A source in the team, who did not want to be named, confirmed the two players will not be involved against Egypt but may be considered for the away match against Togo in Lome on March 29.

“It is unfortunate Okumu and Kapaito picked injuries in training and they are out of the match against Egypt,” the source told Goal. “The two players are out of the coach’s plans for Egypt but maybe they will be considered for the away match against Togo.”

The Pharaohs of Egypt, who include Liverpool star Mohamed Salah and Arsenal’s midfielder Mohamed Elneny, are expected in the country on Tuesday.

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