Kenyan striker targeting return to full fitness ahead of Maidstone’s FA Cup Fifth Round Clash against Coventry

Photo || Helen Cooper

FOOTBALL Kenyan striker targeting return to full fitness ahead of Maidstone’s FA Cup Fifth Round Clash against Coventry

Mark Kinyanjui 20:32 - 09.02.2024

Wanjau-Smith, who has already declared he would like to represent Harambee Stars in a future AFCON, is targeting to make a return from injury against Coventry in the FA Cup Fifth Round clash.

Harambee Stars prospect Solomon Wanjau -Smith is hoping to return to full fitness before Maidstone take part in a historic FA Cup Fifth Round clash against Championship outfit Norwich City in about a fortnight’s time.

Wanjau-Smith hasn’t played since the Stones’ 1-0 victory over Stevenage in round three, after a  scan confirmed his suspicions with the ligament damage supplemented by some micro-fractures, which are effectively bone-bruising.

The former Hungerford man, whose debut campaign at the Gallagher was blighted by knee problems, suspected he’d be facing time on the sidelines when he woke up after the Stevenage tie.

He missed their Fourth Round tie against Premier League promotion-hungry Ipswich town , a clash Maidstone won, but has revealed how everyone has been super supportive of him.

“Everyone’s been really supportive,” he said as quoted on Kent Online.

“Everyone knows how much I want to play every minute of every game but sometimes it’s just not possible and injuries happen.

“It’s part of being a footballer - it’s just how you come back from that and the return.

“I’m looking forward to being back out there and enjoying every minute.”

The Kenyan-English striker had to fight back tears when he found out he would not be able to play against Ipswich, but was elated when his teammates achieved this aim.

He had enjoyed some momentum as he had played over 30 games of football until his injury against Stevenage.

“That’s the thing this season, no matter what the results have been, I’ve enjoyed being out there again after only playing 14/15 games last season.

“I think I’ve already played 30 this year so it’s awesome to be out there and hopefully I can get back out there as quick as possible.

“The gaffer, Craig (Fagan, assistant manager), everyone’s been great.

“Sometimes, with my personality, I want to do things as quick as they can be done.

“But it has to heal and I have to let it run its course and then we can start pushing it, so it’s about being patient as well.

“It shouldn’t be much longer than six weeks, I’m hoping not anyway.

“I’m looking at mid-February to late-February and hopefully I can play the last couple of months and push us into the play-offs if not beyond.”

Wanjau-Smith scored a hat-trick in September as Maidstone entered qualifying with a 4-1 win at Steyning and in December, declared in an exclusive interview with Pulse Sports that he would relish the chance of representing Harambee Stars at the Africa Cup of Nations in future.