NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 11- Harambee Stars midfielder Anthony Akumu targets to steer his Zambian Premier League side Zesco United to the final of the CAF Champions League as he prepares to begin his third season with the Ndola-based outfit.
Akumu joined the side at the beginning of the 2016 season from Sudanese side Al Khartoum and played a major role as the team had their best continental performance in history, getting to the semi-finals.
“It hasn’t been an easy ride since I joined but with hard work we have managed to get results. I have enjoyed the first two seasons and the success that came with it and now the target is to get better. We reached the semis in 2016 and now the target this year is to get to the final and even win it,” the soft-spoken midfielder noted.
He added; “We have a very strong team with experienced players and everyone knows how it is playing at the top. So we will give it our best shot.”
Zesco kick-off their campaign away in Zanzibar against local champions Jeshi la Kujenga Uchumi (JKU) and if they skip this stage, they will earn a first round berth to play against either Buffles du Borgou of Benin or Ivory Coast giants ASEC Mimosas.
The midfielder who cut his niche at Gor Mahia in the Kenyan Premier League has already bagged three titles in Zambia, winning the Zambian FA Cup, also known as the Barclays Cup in his first season while last year, he won the league title.
At the same time, he believes that the influx of Kenyan players in Zambia will open doors for more players to move there. Akumu plays at Zesco with Jesse Were and David ‘Calabar’ Owino while neighboring Buildcon has Clifton Miheso and John mark Makwatta.
“This just goes to show that there is so much talent in Kenya and I believe for us performing well here it is like opening a door for more of our colleagues at home. I would be very happy to see more Kenyan players here,” added Akumu.
He is currently winding up his short holiday before returning to his club’s base in Ndola. He used his Christmas break to play local tournaments in Huruma and Ziwani and was an integral part of South B Combined’s squad that won the Koth Biro tournament.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to come in and play these tournaments. For me, it was not all about winning, but this was an opportunity for me to come in and give motivation to the younger players. They should know that with talent and hard work, you can play anywhere you want,” added the midfielder.
“The experience has been great; there is a lot of talent but most of them lack the opportunity to play in the top leagues. But they shouldn’t lose hope,” Akumu further encouraged.