Ugandan Juma Balinya believes joining 18-times Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Gor Mahia will see him earn a place in the national team for major assignments.
The 27-year-old striker ditched Tanzania’s side Yanga for Gor on a two year contract to replace Ivorian Gislain Yikpe, who moved in the opposite direction.
Speaking to the press on Tuesday at Camp Toyoyo grounds in Nairobi, Balinya said he will work hard to replicate good performances by his former countrymen at Gor, in his quest to play for the Uganda Cranes.
He only featured for Uganda in last year’s Council of Southern Africa Football Association (Cosafa) Cup held in South Africa.
“I am aware of how Ugandan players have performed well at Gor Mahia and it is a challenge to me to do the same. Apart from helping Gor win trophies, my other big target is that coming here will help me play for the national team often,” said Balinya.
Some of Ugandan players who have played for Gor before Balinya are Dan Sserunkuma, Godfrey Walusimbi, Khalid Aucho, Hashim Sempala and Shafik Batambuze.
Head coach Steven Polack expressed confidence that the new players will help the team win this season’s title.
“We are monitoring them and so far I am impressed. I hope they will impact positively in the team's fight win matches and eventually the title,” said Polack.
Other arrivals at the club are Ghanaian midfielder Jackson Owusu, while former Kakakmega High School midfilder Chris Alpha Onyango and Alphonse Omija have been elevated from the junior team.