Luke Namanda was a name that surprised many local football fans in week 2 of the 2019-20 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) season when it showed up as having aided Tusker’s 1-1 draw with Mathare United. The winger, more synonymous with Kakamega Homeboyz, had just landed at Tusker barely a week before the tie hence the surprise.
He says he could have- as a matter of fact, been involved in week one where The Brewers went down 5-2 to Gor Mahia in Kisumu.
”It was a hectic period for me trying to move from Homeboyz but it finally worked out amicably. I actually trained with the team two days before the Gor Mahia match so I couldn’t have been ready for the Kisumu match,” he tells Soka.
Luke, quick-paced on either of the attacking flanks since his time at Nzoia Sugar FC, further tells of how laborious his move from Kakamega Homeboyz had been.
”Tusker had come for me before and we talked, but was summoned by my team back before anything concrete happened. I accepted that it was not going to happen but then they reached out again and I had to go see my boss personally.
I explained my case and he understood, I told him chances like the one that was in my presence are hard to come by so he worked out a few things with Tusker and I was free to join,” continues the 26-year-old.
In his three appearances for The Brewers, Namanda has scored twice and assisted once, both his goals occasioning victories at Zoo FC and Sofapaka. The forward, however, says he had to fight for a starting place and knew right from the start that he had joined a very big team.
”Every team has its own targets and when I arrived here, they told me that they will be playing for the league title. I had to adjust my mentality even though I expected that,” he adds.
His side next travels to his former team Kakamega Homeboyz for week 5 of the KPL, and they sit 7th on the log with two wins, a draw and a loss. The Brewers’ performance index has been on the rise and so has Namanda’s. Given more playing time, he wants to anchor this season’s performance on the very brave start he has recorded.
A player firmly aware of his own abilities, Namanda admits that starting on a high is never a guarantee and now that it has favored him, he will maintain the momentum.
”I understand that not everyone starts in a high, some start slow and get their form as the season goes on and some start high. For me right now, I target to always be on the scoresheet either as a goal scorer or an assist provider. That way, I am sure, even a national team call-up will be a possibility,” he concludes.
Luke started his career at West Kenya Sugar FC, now defunct before heading to the Rift to try out with Timsales FC. Nzoia United would come for him after a season at Timsales and later on, Kakamega Homeboyz played him for one season.
[Featured Image Courtesy/ Dianah Yonah]