• Johanna ditched Mathare United for Sweden, where he signed for IF Vasuland in January 2017
• The creative midfielder began his footballing career in Mathare North
Harambee Stars’ playmaker Erick Johanna is keen to replicate his European football experience in Africa Cup of Nations and aid the team register positive results.
Johanna, who plies his trade with IF Brommapojkarna in Sweden, has been in European football for almost three years and has expressed his intentions of replicating his displays at club level with the national team, who are gearing towards their return to the continental football after 15 years in the cold.
Johanna ditched Mathare United for Sweden, where he signed for IF Vasuland in January 2017 and has been a regular figure in the national team courtesy of his prowess to score and create goals.
Known for his rare ability to use either foot, Johanna is eager to make his debut at continental showpiece where he reckons that his stay in Swedish football will be highly relied on by the team.
“I began my European sojourn with IF Vasulund before joining Brommapojkarna and I believe the experience gained there will help the team. Its been a learning curve for me in Europe and I think it will help the team in getting positive results. It’s our first time as players to be in the Afcon and we head there full of hunger and we have to do it for the country and our families.”
The creative midfielder, who began his footballing career in Mathare North, disclosed that the team strived to achieve qualification after watching neighbours Uganda end their 38-year wait to qualify for the biennial event in 2016.
Uganda, who also qualified for this year’s edition, returned to the Afcon held in Gabon in 2017 a feat which Joanna reveals to have envied and worked to achieve during the qualifiers.
“We learnt from Uganda who qualified for the 2017 edition after a long time and we resolved to achieve it during the qualifiers. We want to announce ourselves big in the tournament now that we have sealed a place and leave a legacy there. We know we are coming up against opponents who have the experience but we know beating them will see Stars’ enter the country’s name in books of records.”