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Avire focused

Avire out to prove a point as he heads to Afcon

In Summary

•He attributed his abrupt growth to the Stars’ technical bench and emulating the experienced players at camp

•Avire starred during his days at Passenga Boys, where he was scouted and joined Bandari after wrapping his studies in 2016

Harambee Stars' John Avire (L) dribbles the ball past Philemon Otieno during a training session at Moi Kasarani on Thursday.
Harambee Stars' John Avire (L) dribbles the ball past Philemon Otieno during a training session at Moi Kasarani on Thursday.
Image: ERICK BARASA

Sofapaka striker John Avire has revealed his dream of following into the footsteps of Harambee Stars skipper Victor Wanyama and forward Michael Olunga in his bid to turn professional.

The burly striker made it to the Stars’ final 23-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations and has opened up on his plan to pursue European football in the near future.

The striker, who made his national team debut with the U-23 during the Olympics qualifiers against Sudan in March, has scaled to the senior team courtesy of his performance at club level and has vowed to turn professional soon. He attributed his abrupt growth to the Stars’ technical bench and emulating the experienced players at camp.

“I am still learning from the technical bench and the experienced players in camp. My confidence is shooting up each day and I believe by mixing with the senior players, I will attain my dream of European football. I have role models in the team and I know soon I will follow in the footsteps of Wanyama and Olunga in Europe.”

The former Bandari man asked his fierce critics to exercise patience with him as he was yet to hit his peak. The player came under criticism for his inclusion to the team at the expense of last season’s Kenyan Premier League top scorer Enosh Ochieng, Allan Wanga and Jesse Were.

“My best is yet to come and I ask all to be patient with me. I know with time, I am capable of proving a point. I have gained a lot during the short time I have been with the national team and I am still learning.”

Avire starred during his days at Passenga Boys, where he was scouted and joined Bandari after wrapping his studies in 2016. It is during his time in school, where he developed an interest in top flight football.

“I started taking football seriously while in High School where our team graced the nationals and we were exposed to high levels. I learnt from the league matches we attended while at school and began to work hard. We watched Ulinzi Stars and Nakuru All-Stars play and developed more interest in learning the game.”

After his stay at Bandari, Avire joined Kakamega Homeboyz before signing for Nakumatt where his goal-scoring prowess saw him attract the attention of other clubs but it was Sofapaka who captured his signature.