Masoud Juma itching for Cecafa glory

Thursday November 23 2017

Kariobangi Sharks striker Masoud Juma  celebrates after scoring a goal against Eldoret Youth during their GOtv Shield quarter-finals match on August 19, 2017 at Nyayo Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Kariobangi Sharks striker Masoud Juma celebrates after scoring a goal against Eldoret Youth during their GOtv Shield quarter-finals match on August 19, 2017 at Nyayo Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By DAVID KWALIMWA
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Fresh from his top-scoring exploits in the just concluded SportPesa Premier League season, Masoud Juma asserts he is now keen to extend his prolific form at the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.

The Kariobangi Sharks forward spoke to Nation Sport on Wednesday, moments after he was named in new Harambee Stars coach Paul Put's first ever squad that will compete in the regional tournament that kicks off on December 3.

Incidentally, all the 25 players named by the Belgian coach are based locally.

Kenya has been pooled alongside Rwanda, Tanzania, Libya and Zanzibar in Group A, with matches slated for the Moi Stadium in Kisumu.

The Bukhungu stadium in Kakamega County will host group B matches consisting defending champions Uganda, alongside Burundi, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Zimbabwe.

Despite missing 10 league matches this season, Juma, 21, still emerged top scorer in the top flight with 17 goals, three more than Gor Mahia's Rwandan striker Meddie Kagere.

The speedy forward was also the top marksman in the domestic cup (GOTV Shield) with six goals, besides also scoring once for the national team in a friendly match against Mauritania in Morocco last September.

"I want to be the best in this region. So my aim aim is to be the top scorer at Cecafa. I am confident (about achieving this)." said Juma.

The former Sony Sugar and Bandari forward will most likely be Kenya's lead striker at this two-week competition, in the absence of Spanish based Micheal Olunga and Zesco United's Jesse Were.

He will however face stiff challenge for the top scorer's gong from the likes of Ugandans Mohammed Shaban and Derrick Nsimbabi, Tanzanian hitman Elias Maghuli, Zimbabwean hotshot Nqobile Ndlovu and former Sofapaka striker Abdoul Fiston Razak who will be leading the line for the Burundi national team at the competition.

"I am sure we will improve under the new coach but Kenyans should be patient. They need to understand things always don't always work out as planned. Five months ago, Real Madrid were the best team in the world. See how they are currently struggling to win matches."

Evergreen Nakumatt hitman Kepha Aswani, alongside Ulinzi duo Samuel Onyango and Stephen Waruru, plus AFC Leopards prodigy Vincent Oburu have also been summoned by Put to aid Juma in the striking department.

The goalkeeping unit consists Kenya one Boniface Oluoch, Patrik Matasi and Gabriel Andika.

Under the tutelage of Put, who led Burkina Faso to the final of the 2013 Africa Nations Cup in South Africa, Kenya will be seeking a seventh Cecafa title in four years.

FULL SQUAD:

Goalkeepers - Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia), Gabriel Andika (AFC Leopards), Patrik Matasi (Posta Rangers)

Defenders - Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia), Charles Momanyi (Kakamega Homeboyz), Dennis Shikayi (AFC Leopards), Jockins Atudo (Posta Rangers), Harun Shakava (Gor Mahia), Wellington Ochieng (Gor Mahia), Bernard Ochieng (Vihiga United), Omar Mbongi (Ulinzi Stars).

Midfielders - Ernest Wendo (Gor Mahia), Whyvonne Isuza (AFC Leopards), Kenneth Muguna (Gor Mahia), Patillah Omotto (Kariobangi Sharks), Duncan Otieno (AFC Leopards), Ovellah Ochieng (Kariobangi Sharks), Lawrence Juma (Nzoia Sugar).

Strikers - Samuel Onyango (Ulinzi Stars), Kepha Aswani (Nakumatt), George Odhiambo (Gor Mahia), Masoud Juma (Kariobangi Sharks), Vincent Oburu (AFC Leopards), Stephen Waruru (Ulinzi Stars), Stephen Waruru (Ulinzi Stars), Benjamin Mosha (Sony Sugar).