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AFCON opportunity spurring Sofapaka’s Avire

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Sofapaka striker John Avire celebrates his lone goal against Nzoia Sugar in a Kenyan Premier League clash at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machaos on February 7, 2019

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 22 – The thought that improvement in his goal scoring fortunes will earn him a chance to be in Kenya’s team for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) next June is motivation enough for Sofapaka forward John Avire to keep them banging.

Avire joined the 2009 champions at the beginning of the season from Mount Kenya United and has so far scored four goals in 14 appearances and hopes to score more.

The 21-year old forward was part of head coach Sebastien Migne’s preliminary 25-man squad that trained last Tuesday and his maiden call up to the national team has spurred in him a desire to earn more.

“I believe I can earn a place in the team. If I continue working hard and keep on adding my tally of goals, I will stand an opportunity to be there. If given the chance, I know I will do my best and prove that I deserve it and I am among the best,” the forward told Capital Sport.

Avire says having trained with the team for the first time on Tuesday, he has a renewed hunger to ensure he is a consistent figure.

Sofapaka forward John Avire training with national football team harambee Stars during a session at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies on February 19, 2019. PHOTO/FKF

“I was really happy to get the call up and train with the national team. It is everyone’s dream to play for the national team and for me that is a motivation to continue giving my best,” he said.

He added; “ The first session was a challenge at first but after I got used to it I enjoyed it a lot and I am hoping this is a first for many.”

Avire famously led Passenga High School to a first ever national school games title in 2014 as a Form Two, scoring the winning goal as they beat Upper Hill High School in the final. He also ended up as the tournament top scorer.

After clearing High School in 2016, he signed for Bandari who loaned him out to Kakamega Homeboyz before he was recalled. He joined Mount Kenya midway through last season before following his coach Melis Medo to Sofapaka.

Ex Sofapaka FC head coach Melis Medo has a chat with striker John Avire after a training session at the Eastleigh High School on November 16, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

The striker also hopes to vie for this season’s golden boot and guide Sofapaka to the Kenyan Premier League title, two things he believes are very possible.

“We are on a good run at the moment despite last weekend’s loss. I believe if we continue working the way we are with a lot of teamwork and unity, we will achieve that target. We have Homeboyz away this weekend and I am hoping we can bounce back,” noted the speedy striker.

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