Cliff Nyakeya discusses big day in Stars colours, life in Egypt

Kenya's forward Cliff Nyakeya celebrates after scoring the second goal during their international friendly match ahgainst Zambia at Nyayo National Stadium.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The Egypt-based winger has found playing time in major assignments for the national team hard to come by as he plays in the same position as the China-based Ayub Timbe.

Kenyan international Cliff Nyakeya is confident of cementing his position in the national team after a splendid performance in their 2-1 win over Zambia in an international friendly match at the Nyayo National Stadium on Friday.

The Egypt-based winger has found playing time in major assignments for the national team hard to come by as he plays in the same position as the China-based Ayub Timbe.

Timbe, who returned recently to Beijing Renhe after a short stint on loan at English Championship side Reading, did not make it for the Zambia friendly due to the coronavirus restrictions in the country.

Nyakeya grabbed the chance with both hands, scoring one goal in a man-of-the-match performance at Nyayo.

"Ayub Timbe is a good and a very experienced player. He has done very well for the national team and we cannot understate that. However, I believe in my qualities and ability. I am a different player and I was happy to play my part in today's (Friday) win," the former Mathare United winger said.

"It's good for the national team to have depth and that is why even in the absence of senior players like (Michael) Olunga, (Victor) Wanyama, (Johanna) Omolo and Timbe we still did well. What matters is the performance of the team, we all want Harambee Stars to qualify for Afcon 2021."

"Some of the players who took the chance well against Zambia have now given the technical bench a reason to field them in upcoming assignments and that is how it's supposed to be - ensure there's competition for places in the team. I am eager to play and do well whenever called upon," he added.

Nyakeya plays for Masr FC in the Egyptian Premier League but the team has had a very poor season. With 21 points from 31 games, Masr have already been relegated to the second-tier but the winger has attracted interest from several other teams in the top league.

"It has been a tough season but I am happy I settled fast and played in most matches. The league is still in session and I have a running contract with Masr and therefore cannot talk about interest from other clubs or where I will be playing next season." 

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