Best midfielder Juma reflects on stellar season with Sofapaka
Lawrence ‘Lawi’ Juma says it is a dream come true after he was named Football Kenya Federation Premier best midfielder for the ended season
Juma, an attacking midfielder in his first season with Sofapaka after joining from former champions Gor Mahia, scored 16 goals in a stellar campaign that also saw him nominated for Most Valuable Player of the Season, an award that was won by Kariobangi Sharks’ Erick Kapaito.
Apart from finding the back of the net, Juma also had five assists in the league, something he credits to a free playing role in the team.
The 28-year-old midfielder enjoyed a four-year stint at K’Ogalo winning three-back-to-back league titles before ditching them last year after receiving a two-year lucrative deal from Batoto ba Mungu.
“I want to thank my teammates, the president of the club and my coach Ken Odhiambo for ensuring I had freedom to roam.
“I think that is the difference between Juma of this season and that of previous ones,” said the player who joined Gor Mahia in 2017 from Nzoia Sugar.
The Kenyan international’s only regret is that his team finished a distant 12th in the just concluded season, a below standard performance for a team of their calibre.
“Even in the difficult season we had, I want to commend my teammates for helping me play well and get those goals and fight for an individual dream,” he added.
“After the expiry of my contract at Gor Mahia, I wanted a new challenge. I had won three consecutive league titles with the club. So, leaving was the best decision I made,” Juma said.
The player debuted in a friendly against Uganda that ended 1-1 at Kasarani Stadium in September 2019.
“I have over 13 caps with the national team, but I think my most memorable one is the role I played in the famous 1-1 away draw against Egypt in the 2021 Africa Nations Cup Qualifiers Group G tie.”
The former Timsales and Nakuru All-Stars man is grateful to God and his parents and three siblings for their support.
Juma says to play in the premier League and the national team needs a lot of sacrifice and discipline.