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Football | Harambee Stars

James Nandwa @ SS com

Nandwa excited by Mariga return



Harambee Stars coach James Nandwa believes that McDonald Mariga is the difference between the Stars winning and losing matches, and has saluted his availability for national team duty.

Inter Milan’s Mariga has been called up to the national team and will be available for the Stars’ friendly clash with Libya in February.

His presence in midfield and goals too have been missed by the national team during the time he was injured – a knee injury sidelining him for most of 2012. Nandwa is of the opinion that if he were available, the Stars would have been better off in the AFCON and World Cup qualifying stakes.

“Mariga’s return is golden for the national team. He is a top midfielder, his skill level is very high and his influence on the pitch is massive,” he said.

“When he is around, you can feel that he will just take over things, he does not like to be left out of action. He can force issues, have a good effect on his fellow teammates and even score goals. He has scored many important ones for the national team.”

“He is just the kind of player the team needs in the middle of the pitch. he is very important to the team. Last year we missed him when he was injured and you felt we just needed some guile to do well, which he can provide in plenty.

“In my opinion, if he were there, we would have been in the current Afcon and be better off in World Cup qualifying.”

Mariga will link up with Celtic FC’s Victor Wanyama in the middle and Nandwa is looking forward to having them on board.

“The two are very talented players and ply their trade at Europe’s biggest clubs,” he added.

“When here, they should have a good effect on the team. I am happy that that will be available and look forward to them playing together. It should improve us massively.”

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