Masud Juma on why Harambee Stars players are confident about 2026 World Cup chances

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FOOTBALL Masud Juma on why Harambee Stars players are confident about 2026 World Cup chances

Festus Chuma 15:04 - 14.11.2023

Harambee Stars striker exudes confidence for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers despite injury concerns, aiming for success.

Harambee Stars striker Masud Juma has cited the coach, the quality of friendlies, and unity in the squad as the reasons why the team is confident ahead of the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Gabon and Seychelles.

Despite facing some injury concerns among key players, Juma believes that the team's recent performances have laid the groundwork for a successful campaign.

Reims centre-back Joseph Okumu, AIK left-back Erick 'Marcelo' Ouma, right-back Daniel Anyembe, Collins Sichenje, and goalkeeper Bryne Odhiambo have all been listed as doubtful for the crucial matches, raising concerns about the team's overall readiness.

However, Juma, who currently plies his trade with Saudi Arabian side Al Faisaly, remains undaunted.

"If you check our recent games, you'll see that we've started to find our rhythm. We expect tough matches, but what I'm sure of is that the boys are going to give their all. The level is such that we can compete with anyone," Juma confidently declared.

Juma's belief in the team's capabilities stems from the unity and trust that has been cultivated within the squad.

"I'm confident that this is our moment, and we are going to surprise everyone because we have a coach who believes in us. Apart from being the coach, he always supports and trusts everyone in the camp," he noted.

The striker also highlighted the team's continuity, with many players having been together since their game against Iran.

"The team is at the top, and we don't feel any pressure. We are here to deliver and will give it our all until the end," he noted.

Coach Engin Firat echoed Juma's sentiments, emphasizing the importance of starting the campaign on a high note despite the injury setbacks.

"It is quite unfortunate that most of these players got injured this week, so there is very little room for informed adjustments. We, however, have to do the best we can, but we know what this means," Firat remarked.

Masud Juma's journey to the forefront of Kenyan football has been marked by his rich experience and versatility.

The 2017 FKF Premier League top scorer has played for clubs across the globe, including Algeria's JS Kabylie, South Africa's Cape Town City, and the United Arab Emirates' Dibba Al Furajiah.

Before his move to Kabylie, Juma showcased his skills at Al Nasr in Libya, and he even embarked on trials with Swedish clubs AIK and Jonkopings Sodra, as well as South African side Bidvest Wits.

As the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers beckon, Juma is expected to lead the Harambee Stars forward line alongside other talented strikers, including Michael Olunga, Moses Shummah and Benson Omala. 

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