Representing Kenya core to Ayunga’s fine run in the season

Thrice called up to the Kenya national team, England based striker Jonah Ayunga is yet to get his first appearance for Harambee Stars, but all the indications point to an imminent first cap, if his current form is anything to go by.

On eight goals in 11 games for Havant & Waterloovile in the National League, Ayunga sits pretty at the top of the scorers’ charts, and on the back of a fine run that has reignited his push for a return to Harambee Stars.

First call

The striker first got a Harambee Stars call up in 2016 ahead of a friendly match against Uganda but couldn’t feature owing to passport issues before being locked up with injury.

He would get called up again ahead of a friendly match against Mozambique in 2017 but suffered a leg break just before reporting to camp and another chance went up in smoke when the Kenya versus Sierra Leone friendly match, for which h had been called up by Sebastien Migne, was cancelled.

Hopeful

“The last couple of times I’ve come out I’ve been unable to play for different reasons. I’m hoping that in the future I will be able to represent Kenya,” he told Soka.

The forward also captured Francis Kimanzi’s eye, then with the Kenya U23 national team and with the coach having ascended to the senior team, Ayunga is keen to work with the tactician once again.

“Francis Kimanzi was very welcoming and I enjoyed his sessions when I was last in Nairobi so I hope we’ll work together again at some point,” he added.

A mix of misfortunes conspired to lock out Ayunga from Kenya’s first participation in the African Cup of Nations after a lengthy time out but the forward is confident he will get that chance soon and believes the 2019 AFCON finals in Egypt were the start of a good run for Kenya at top competitions.

Major tournament

“It would be great to see Kenya qualify again for a major tournament. The national team is getting stronger and stronger so I believe we are on the right track,” he added.

Kenya is set to for two friendly matches in October, away to Libya on 11 October, then Mozambique on 15 October at Moi International Sports Center (MISC) Kasarani and as the team prepares for the upcoming AFCON 2021 qualifiers Ayunga will be hoping to slot into coach Kimanzi’s plans.