Harambee Stars coach sings praises for 'miracle' player Anthony Akumu

Kenyan midfielder Anthony 'Teddy' Akumu in training with Harambee Stars. Photo: FKF Media

Harambee Stars coach sings praises for 'miracle' player Anthony Akumu

Joel Omotto 06:30 - 23.05.2024

Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat has lavished praise on midfielder Anthony ‘Teddy’ Akumu, calling him a ‘miracle’ for showing high levels of fitness despite not having a club.

Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat has expressed his surprise at the fitness levels of midfielder Anthony ‘Teddy’ Akumu who has been without a club for months.

Akumu endured a nightmare one-year spell in Japan since signing for J-League side Sagan Tosu in December 2022 as he was consistently left out of the squad, featuring for the team only five times, all in cup games.

He left the club early this year but is yet to find a new home while he has maintained his place in the national team.

Firat says Akumu has not shown any signs of rustiness despite the lack of minutes in his legs, claiming he is in even better physical shape than some players currently actively featuring in the FKF Premier League.

“Teddy is for me a miracle because a player who is without a team and even in Malawi [Four-Nations tournament] he played very good,” said Firat during a press briefing on Wednesday.

“Yesterday [Tuesday] we started training and he is more fit now than some players who are playing now in the Kenyan league.

“And I am not joking about this because when we made some recovery runs, I did not get the feeling Teddy is tired but I cannot say the same about the other ones.”

Despite calls to drop him over his lack of opportunities at club level, Firat has kept faith in Akumu, who is one of his three trusted midfielders alongside Kenneth Muguna and Odada, and he is counting on him again in the upcoming matches against Burundi and Ivory Coast which Kenya will host in Malawi next month.

“I am very happy that Teddy can bring this performance in these very difficult games and it shows he is a perfect professional. He is a key player for me and strategically a very clever player and I hope in this period, he comes to his real level because he is very important for me,” added Firat.

Firat had in March claimed that Akumu had found a new club but that has not happened yet. It looks like the former Gor Mahia, Zesco United and Kaizer Chiefs midfielder will also be using the World Cup qualifiers to market himself to would-be suitors.

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