When it was evident that the Harambee Stars would have to do without the services of influential forward Michael Olunga for their final AFCON qualifying match against Ghana, coach Sebastien turned to Masud Juma to fit into the big shoes.

That he did, but couldn’t, however, find the back of the net to crown a commendable display in Accra.

Masud had late in 2017 made a name for himself with an above average performance in the CECAFA Senior Championships, one Kenya won. He had earlier on bagged the top scorers’ prize. His selection to the national team, however, draws criticism from a section of fans, something that irks him.

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Masud Juma

Masud Juma takes on Dennis Odhiambo during one of Harambee Stars training sessions in France

“In 2016 at Sony Sugar, when I was called to the national team, everyone supported me. When I was called to the U23 team while I was at Bandari, everyone also supported me. The criticism only started when I was called up while playing for Kariobangi Sharks, which is associated with the FKF President. So I think they don’t hate me,” he opined.

“I was hoping that I would do well in Libya but it is unfortunate that the political situation there couldn’t allow me to settle. So right now I am fully focused on working hard for a place in the final AFCON team and hopefully, things will work out well,” said Masud.

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The former Kariobangi Sharks talisman is part of four forwards in the team and will be looking to make it to the starting lineup in Kenya’s friendly match against Madagascar this Friday.

The match is one of two friendlies lined up as Kenya gears itself up for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.

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