EYES ON STARS

Rupia keen to break into Stars team ahead of Afcon qualifier

The former Nakuru All Stars man struggled at Wazito where he had signed at the start of the season

In Summary

•Stars are set to host Comoros on March 25 and Rupia who has found a new lease of life at Leopards is convinced that his goal scoring instincts will prompt coach Francis Kimanzi to summon him for the tie.

•Rupia has found the back of the net four times in as many matches he has played for Leopards and has emerged as a contender for the ‘golden boot’.

AFC Leopards' striker Elvis Rupia (R) in action for Wazito against former Nzoia Sugar player Brian Wepo on August 31, 2019
AFC Leopards' striker Elvis Rupia (R) in action for Wazito against former Nzoia Sugar player Brian Wepo on August 31, 2019
Image: OLIVER MORGAN

AFC Leopards' marksman Elvis Rupia is banking on his recent form to earn a slot in the national team, Harambee Stars ahead of the third 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Stars are set to host Comoros on March 25 and Rupia who has found a new lease of life at Leopards is convinced that his goal-scoring instincts will prompt coach Francis Kimanzi to summon him for the tie.

Rupia decamped to Ingwe last month after a largely an underwhelming stint with league returnees Wazito and the burly striker is not afraid of setting targets.

Rupia has found the back of the net four times in as many matches for Leopards and has emerged as a contender for the ‘Golden Boot’.

The former Nzoia Sugarman believes his electric form is enough to guarantee him a place in the team which will be pursuing their first qualifier win.

Stars launched their campaign with a barren draw against record champions Egypt before playing Togo to a one-all draw in the second match. Rupia was summoned for the 2019 qualifiers but was never capped. 

“I believe my form is enough to convince the national team bench for a call-up. Last time I made it to the provisional squad but I have a target of breaking into the final team and eventually making my debut. To achieve this, I have to keep on scoring as many goals as I can since the competition is high in the Stars team,” he said.

In the meantime, Rupia has attributed his resurgence at Ingwe to patience and team spirit. The former Nakuru All-Stars man struggled at Wazito, where he had signed at the start of the season after returning from Zambia’s Power Dynamos. He also added that youthful Leopards gaffer Anthony Kimani had aided him to rediscover his form.

“The environment at Leopards is different from the one I enjoyed at Wazito. I have the luxury of clocking 90 minutes and the coach has patience and understands my strengths. He has instilled self believe and this has helped me regain my form even though I am yet to hit my best,” he observed.