- The fast-rising stars Kenya defender Joseph Okumu has expressed his desires to captain stars. He has revealed he would love to skipper the national team sometime in the future.
The 23-year-old center back has sealed his place in the first 11thanks to his exceptional display in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) held in Egypt.
He featured in all three matches in Group C; the 2-0 loss to Algeria before helping the team to a 3-2 win against neighbors Tanzania before eventually losing 3-0 to Senegal.
Responding to the question of whether he will wish to captain Harambee Stars in the future, Okumu said, “It is a dream for any player to captain his national team.”
“If an opportunity to [captain] the team comes my way, I will take it with both hands. It will be a privilege, but if it does not, my job is to give my country the best services and I will continue pushing myself harder on the pitch,” he continued.
The towering defender also revealed why he left South Africa top-tier side Free State Stars after barely one season.
“I had four coaches in a season and it was hard for me to settle since every coach had his style,” Okumu recalls.
“The last coach felt I was not fit to play in his system, and proposed a loan move for me to the second-tier side. It was not part of my contract with the club so we resorted to the mutual contract termination,” he explained.
“It was a surprise for me, I did not expect to be in the first 11 for the tournament,” he said.
He further explained his surprise of toping the pecking order of experienced players like Calabar [David Owino] who is more experienced than him. He said he was expecting Owino to partner with Musa, but the coach decided to field him. He said, “It was a baptism of fire, but it was a good opportunity for me to show my potential.”
“It was a good experience considering I had not taken part in the qualifiers. Remember the last time I had featured for Kenya was in 2016 against Sudan; I did not expect to be involved. It was crazy, but I had to step up,” Okumu concluded.