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Harambee Stars winger Ayub Timbe reacts during a past match with Reading FC. PHOTO/Reading FC

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Ayub Timbe hopes to play in the Kenyan Premier League before retiring

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 10 – Harambee Stars winger Ayub Timbe hopes to feature in the Kenyan Premier League before hanging his boots, having left Kenya as a 14-year old in 2006 and never getting the chance to turn out for a local club.

Timbe moved to Belgium in 2006 and ended up joining Anderlecht after stints with Ligi Ndogo and JMJ Academies and speaking to Sports Promoter Bramwel Karamoja during a Facebook Live interview, the winger hopes he can play back home some-day.

His younger brother Musa Masika plies his trade currently with Wazito FC.

“That’s something I really missed and one day, I must play in the KPL,” Timbe said during the interview that lasted two hours.

The winger has gone on to ascend the football stairs and currently turns out for English second tier side Reading having joined them on loan from Chinese Super League Club Beijing Renhe for an initial six-month period.

Timbe who says he has enjoyed his time at the club so far hopes he can continue his spell beyond the loan period especially with the coronavirus pandemic having taken away two months of his time at the Berkshire based club.

“So far at Reading I feel okay and I have settled really well. Apart from this pandemic that has slowed down things when I was really getting started and picking up very well. It’s sad but all in all, we have to deal with the situation,” he states.

Harambee Stars winger Ayub Timbe during his unveiling at Reading FC. PHOTO/Reading

“I am well settled and I would want to continue staying with the team but as at now we are waiting for the real talks. We haven’t talked about anything yet but I want to stay at Reading,” he added.

Staying at the club wouldn’t be a hard ask for him as the two clubs, Renhe and Reading, share majority owners.

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The winger has also revealed plans to set up an academy in Kenya and says his initial plans were to set up something in December, plans that he remains very keen on.

Also present at the Facebook Live interview were strikers Michael Olunga and Jesse Were, based in Japan and Zambia respectively. The two who were part of the dreaded Tusker FC striking force in 2013 have also hinted at a hope of linking up together in the national team at some point.

Were was not part of the squad called up for the African Cup of Nations, a decision taken up by former coach Sebastien Migne. The decision brought hue and cry.

“Every coach has his own philosophy and I always know my timer will come some day,” Were stated, adding that he does not feel the pressure of replicating his club performance at Zesco United at the national team, believing his moment to shine is nigh.

Harambee Stars winger Ayub Timbe controls the ball during a match at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cairo, Egypt. PHOTO/Courtesy

On Migne as well, Timbe admitted that he didn’t get off to the best of starts with the Frenchman despite the fact that they were always in contact during his injury period before working together for the first time.

“To be honest at the start we were not feeling each other because he wanted me to do things that were not me, but later we settled down and he accepted my style and we were cool,” Timbe said.

Meanwhile, Olunga also disclosed that former AFC Leopards coach Jan Koops was interested in signing him after shining for Upper Hill High School during the national school games in 2012 where he was named the best player.

“Yeah, he really wanted to sign me but at that time I really felt that Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards were not the ideal clubs for me. But he was really interested in signing me and he talked to me after the game,” he said.

Harambee Stars forward Michael Olunga celebrates scoring for his Japanese club Kashiwa Reysol

The forward later signed for Tusker FC before moving to Thika United and ultimately Gor Mahia where he was named the league’s best player in 2015, scoring 19 goals in the process for K’Ogalo. He lost out the golden boot race to Were who netted 19 times.

Meanwhile, Jesse also explained how he made his first professional contract after initially having given up on football after being turned down at a trial with KCB.

“We went for the trials for almost a week. I remember we were with Cheche (David Ochieng) and Munga (Mungai Kiongera). Ultimately, the two were picked but I was not. I went back home and told my coach that I was giving up on football but he encouraged me,” Were narrated.

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Harambee Stars forward Jesse Were during a training session at the Kasarani Stadium on September 5, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“Later, I went back and signed for Black Stars (Kibera) and soon I was enjoying my football again. We played a friendly match against Mathare United and that’s where coach Salim (Ali) spotted me and invited me for a national team camp for the Nile Basin tournament. After the camp, I wasn’t selected to travel with the team but I left there with a Mathare United contract,” he explained.

Jesse shone for Mathare before making the leap to Tusker, rising to be the club’s skipper and making the big move to Zambia with Zesco.

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