Asieche keen to reward coaches who’ve shown faith in him

Wednesday, October 28th, 2020 00:00 |
Elly Asieche of Sofapaka during a past KPL match played at Kasarani Stadium. Photo/PD/SPORTPICHA

Harambee Stars debutant Elly Asieche feels that should the team fail to qualify to the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) it will be akin to a meltdown.

The newly appointed Sofapaka captain said the current squad under the tutelage of returnee coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee is laden with talented players who are capable of taking the country places.

“There is absolutely no reason why Kenya should not revisit the biannual Africa Championship.

The talent is there and we have an excellent tactician who knows what he wants,” said the influential Batoto Ba Mungu creative midfielder.

He added: “Most of the players have been in the national team before and will serve as a big inspiration to those making their maiden appearance in like me.”

Asieche also reckoned that there is a feel-good factor in him to renew acquaintance with some of the players he played with in the national under-23 team (Emerging Stars) like Zesco United defender David “Calabar’ Owino and Teddy Akumu who plies his trade with Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa.

“You see, playing together with these guys gave us bondage of sorts and we hope to use what we learned to the benefit of Stars,” said Asieche.

The Ofafa Jericho High School alumnus, who was given Sofapaka’s arm-band on Monday, believes the squad has the pedigree to adapt to the philosophy of Mulee.

“There is immense talent in the squad to beat Comoros and indeed the rest of the teams in the remaining fixtures.

For me, I want to give the national team debut a good shot and trust me, I will work hard to earn a lot of play time in the team,” said Asieche.

The influential midfielder said Stars’ 2-1 win over Zambia in a friendly in Nairobi a fortnight ago marked a special milestone for the team that has perennially been losing to the 2012 AFCON champions.

“We beat them (Zambia) and if we can maintain the same momentum it will give us confidence of beating even stronger teams like Egypt in the qualifiers,” he said.

Asked if he thinks there will be a protracted battle for the midfield position in a crowded position, Asieche said: “Obviously, there will be but I will just let my performance speak for itself.’’

Besides Asieche, other players in Stars’ midfield include Gor Mahia’s Kenneth Muguna, Canada’s Montreal Impact’s Victor Wanyama, Ismail Gonzalez of UD Las Palmas of Spain, Cliff Nyakeya who plays for Al Masr of Egypt and Eric Johanna who features for Jonkoping Sodra of Sweden.

Others are his new team mate at Sofapaka Lawrence Juma and Musa Masika of Wazito and Ayub Timbe who is currently unattached.

In the meantime, preparations for Stars’ non residential training are in top gear as the team readies itself for the two-legged AFCON qualifier against Les Coelacantes of Comoros. Local based players are set to report to camp today with their foreign based counterparts scheduled to start checking in on Sunday.

The first leg will be played in Kasarani on November 11 with the reverse fixture penciled for Moroni on November 15.

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