Profile: Harambee Stars call up - Masud Juma
Coach Stanley Okumbi's provisional squad of 40 players for the final 2017 AFCON group qualifier against Zambia includes a number of new faces who earned maiden call after impressive run with their respective clubs.
In our weekly, Futaa,com call ups profiles focuses on the former Kenya U23 and Bandari striker, now at SoNy Sugar; Masud Juma, who along side Mike Madoya , Sammy Meja, and the English based pair of Josh Lenan and Jonah Ayunga, are the debutants in the national team.
Juma's career dates back to his days at Isiolo Barracks Secondary, where the he led the school to the Coca Cola /AFCO inter-military Schools Soccer Championship in 2013. he was named the Most Valuable Player of the tourney after emerging the top scorer with five goals.The player would later join Meru based Division one side, Kiambaka Christian Centre (KCC) under tutelage of George Maina and within a short time his the striker had secured a move to Shabana.
At Shabana, Masud got off the blocks first impressing alongside the likes of Cornelius Juma prompting the then club's TD Gilbert Selebwa to draw similarities of the youngster to the agility and pace of Harambeer Stars international Dennis Oliech.
By June 2014 Juma sealed his move to KPL top-flight with Bandari beating a number of rivals to nab the ace who had taken the NSL by storm. He would have to bid his time as he looked to fight into Twahir Muhiddin’s first team. Still, alongside Victor Ndinya, Fareed Mohammed, Khamis Tole and David King’atua, Masud was among the vital cog of a youthful Bandari's contingent augmenting the seasoned fold in the team's ranks.
Grievous set back
His fledgling career will however take a turn for the worse just a year into his top-flight stint when he suffered a grievous ankle injury during a KPL clash against SoNy Sugar. It couldn’t have been much worse for the striker who was fresh from earning a call to Stars U23 team. The striker dreams of kicking it out with the Stars juniors were anything but shattered.
What followed was a six months spell on the sidelines, a spell the striker then admitted to futaa, was one of the low moments of his career. But after the critical phase where his resiliency and club's help and friends worked in imparting the strength to bounce back, he came out of the chapter more determined and daring..
By September, Masud was back into action and quick in stepping up his quest for finding his form of old. With just more than four games left to the season finale, he had only the much of the Shield cup campaign to do it; and he did it wit same zeal that characterised much of his career as Bandari piped a number of KPL opponents to set a final date with Nakumatt.
Masud would later bag a fourth insurance goal during the 2015 in the finals stepping off the substitutes bench in the 4-2 thrashing of the NSL side.
Publicised Bandari exit
changing time and tide saw the football landscape at coastal club also transforming. The responsibility of a cup defense and building on to the historic fourth spot league finish had a number of ‘experienced’ new faces coming in the Dockers fold and as people come others move. Masud wont stay for long as his chances become increasingly bit role at the club.
With limited starting chances, he became a subject of a much publicized exit talk as he angled for more time on the pitch. Perhaps his earlier injury setback had done something to him, the striker desperately wanted to do what he couldnt do while sidelined: playing!
Harambee stars call
Determination paid off as Sony landed the then disgruntled striker in the 2016 mid-season transfer. Despite enduring a four game wait prior to grabbing his first goal, Masud had already made a glimpse of impression especially from his bow against Ushuru. His maiden call up to national team seniors was around the corner waiting.
....and it came on Friday 5 when the 40 man squad was unveiled.
it’s my first call to the national senior team and i look forwards for the chance to link up with fellow players and taking the next learning process. MY teammates and the new club has been more of a family just days after me coming in and its has helped me much to settle in fast. I know there will be plenty to learn from the coaches foreign-based players among others. I'm confident, i will be coming out afterwards with to improve on in bettering my career, he concludes.