Sofapaka’s young gun ready to take KPL by storm

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 00:00 |
Sofapaka’s new signing 16-year-old Wisdom Naya during a training session with his team-mates at Eastleigh High School yesterday.

At 16 years of age, most teenagers will be playing estate, street or school football with their peers but Wisdom Naya is already playing in the Kenyan Premier League.

A small fish in a big pond perhaps but Naya is ready to swim with sharks. 

Small in size, his brilliant football brain compensates for what he lacks in stature and it is the reason Sofapaka spotted and snapped him up in this month’s transfer window.

The St Anthony’s Kitale Boys alumnus drew the attention of scouts during the 2018 Copa Coca Cola Cup of Nations in Nakuru, where he played a starring role as Kenya won the title.

Many teams expressed interest but were not ready to take a chance on him perhaps due to his young age but Batoto ba Mungu pounced and are hoping to reap maximum dividends. 

“My interest in football begun at an early age when we played in the estates at Kitale with my friends.

However, I started taking it actively while in secondary school especially when we won the national championships.

From then on, the passion grew and I begun to sharpen my skills through the help of different coaches,” says the youngster, who has signed a three-year deal with the 2009 KPL champions. 

A versatile midfielder able to track back and initiate attacks, Naya was persuaded into joining Sofapaka after head coach John Baraza laid the club’s blueprint to him. 

“When I came to Nairobi and talked to the coach, I immediately knew what needed to be done and got down to work. It is not easy because the Premiership is a big step so everyday has to work hard to improve.

It is an opportunity for me to learn and develop with some of the best players locally. I can establish myself as a proper player,” adds Naya, who plans to pursue a course in Business Management.

Baraza too is full of praise for the youngster and is taking his time before throwing him into the deep end.

“Naya can only get better and we keep encouraging him to express himself. Before he came here, I got the chance to consult and check his profile and I was very impressed.

The competitions he was engaged in like Airtel Rising Stars has built him and I know he has a good future if he keeps his feet on the ground.

For now, there is no pressure because he has a lot to learn,” Baraza told People Sport at Eastleigh High School, the club’s training base yesterday.  

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