• He said representing the country in the Chan qualifiers has been part of his dream and he is happy that it may come to pass.
• The overlapping defender said he is ready for the new challenge despite his age and he is looking to capitalise on the Chan platform.
Fast-rising Mathare United defender David Owino is keen to prove to coach Sebastien Migne why he should look beyond the duo of Erick ‘Marcelo’ Ouma and Abud Omar in the senior team’s left-back role.
Owino made the cut last week when Migne named his 25-man provisional squad for the forthcoming Africa Nations Championships qualifiers where he has revealed his dream of giving the Frenchman a selection headache in the senior team’s defensive flank.
The diminutive player, who has risen through the national U-17, 20 (Rising Stars) and 23 (Emerging Stars) ranks is the sole left-back named in the provisional squad and is likely to make his senior team debut when Kenya face Tanzania in the first leg of the opening round set for July 28.
Owino said he is ready to justify to Migne not only why he merits a slot in the team but also why he is equal to the task just like the established starters in the senior team. He said representing the country in the Chan qualifiers has been part of his dream and he is happy that it may come to pass.
The overlapping defender said he is ready for the new challenge despite his age and he is looking to capitalise on the Chan platform. The team is set to report to camp tomorrow.
“I am excited to be in the senior team for the first time and I am looking forward to my debut. I am ready for the new challenge after the long journey in the junior cadres.
“I am ready to show the coach why I should be competing for starting roles with Marcelo and Abud in the senior team.
“They were given the opportunity to prove themselves and I am using this chance to play in the Chan qualifiers as a platform to show the coach why he should look beyond the two left-backs in the senior team.
“I have been asking myself what they (Marcelo and Abud) have been doing to cement regular call ups and I believe the time is ripe for me to show the coach why I should be competing with them,” he said. The rookie credits his rising football profile to the U-23 coach Francis Kimanzi who identified him while at Laiser Hill High School. Kimanzi who doubles up as Mathare’s coach signed the player who is christened as ‘Messi’ thanks to his attacking prowess while in school in 2017. He later moulded him to a left-back after his defence line was hit by injuries. Prior to joining Mathare, Owino featured for Kibera Lexus.
“I credit my football journey to Kimanzi, who has nurtured me to be the player I am today both at club level and in the junior national teams. While in the U-20, he told me to challenge for a place in the U-23 and while at the latter stage, he told me to show why I should play at the senior level. I have been working hard and maintaining professional discipline in line with his counsel and it’s paying dividends. He spotted me as an attacking midfielder but transformed me to a defender and he has always told me to be ready for any challenge.”