The African Nation Championships (CHAN) coming to Kenya is a once in a lifetime opportunity for locally based players and competition has been high to impress coaches for the opportunity to feature in the tournament; one player who has set out to work for a place in the team is Sofapaka’s youthful goalkeeper Ruben Juma.
Juma a graduate of the club’s U20 team has been the understudy to former Ugandan international Mathias Kigonya this season and he got his first taste of top flight action in the team’s 1 – 1 draw with Posta Rangers in the week 22 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) clash on Saturday 26 August.
His chance came after Kigonya was withdrawn with a dislocated shoulder and while he hopes for his mate’s quick recovery, he is sure to grab the chance.
“I was glad to get my debut; I thank God and all my coaches for the chance and the trust they have showed in me all through my stages of growth as a player.
“Now my curve can only go higher because the standard has been set and top of my short term targets, is to do the job impeccably and convince the national team coaches that I can contest for a place in the CHAN team,” he told Soka.
Not all went well on his debut though, he admits he’d have liked to not only help his team win but also keep a clean sheet. He was, still responsible for a number of good saves that kept Sofapaka in the game before Umaru Kasumba netted the equalizer in stoppage time.
“It was my first game and I went in when the tempo was high and it was also a game with a lot of pressure, looking at the two teams’ positions on the table. I did my best though and I sure will continue improving.
“It was an interesting feel for me,” he added.
Kigonya is expected to be out for a month, which leaves Juma and George Opiyo as the options for coach Sam Ssimbwa.