• The USIU-A Mashujaa goalkeeper was impressive in the first match as Kenya shared the spoils in a one-all draw.
• "I have to step up my game in order to become Kenya's undisputed first choice," said Silong. "There's a gap that exists in the goalkeeping department and I am optimistic I can fill in the boots."
Fast-rising goalkeeper Samuel Silong has vowed to use his past makes as a learning curve in his search for a regular slot in the national team.
The 20-year, old who failed to make the final list for the Olympic qualifiers in 2019, was finally handed his senior debut against Uganda and played in two of the three test matches the national team took part in last month.
However, his was not smooth sailing as he registered mixed fortunes.
The USIU-A Mashujaa goalkeeper was impressive in the first match as Kenya shared the spoils in a one-all draw. In the second encounter, he was sent off for kicking the ball from outside the 'D' as Kenya succumbed 1-0.
In an assessment of his performance, the under-21 player said he will not allow his weaknesses to weigh him down, adding that his objective is to use them to become a better player.
"It was a learning experience for me and the rest of the junior players. It was an error kicking the ball from outside my area and being sent off was the last thing I had imagined," Silong opened up.
"I admit it was a mistake and I have moved away from it. I don't regret that because it's part of the game but I won't allow it to happen again. It's about composure even when under pressure. With that kind of exposure, I am slowly maturing into the role."
The Kamusinga alumnus enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2019 with the varsity side. He managed five clean sheets and his impressive performances saw him bag the best goalkeeper award.
His best moment came on his debut against defending champions Butali Warriors in a 3-3 draw, pulling crucial saves to deny the free-scoring sugar millers maximum points.
Silong hopes that competing with Western Jaguars' Paul Navangi will help take his game to the next level. Butali's Linus Sang has been the best goalkeeper for almost a decade but missed the Olympic qualifiers as well as the latest assignment.
"I have to step up my game in order to become Kenya's undisputed first choice," said Silong. "There's a gap that exists in the goalkeeping department and I am optimistic I can fill in the boots."
Silong will be in line for the U-21 side when Kenya play in the Junior Africa Cup from August 10-30 in the yet to be known venue.