Kenya’s COPA Coca-Cola national finals golden boot winner Musa Masika has made it to the All-Star team at the COPA international camp in Pretoria, South Africa.
The 13-year-old is the only player from the young Kenya U15 team who has been picked to the All-Star team who will play against an U15 team from PSL side Mamelodi Sundowns, tomorrow, Sunday.
Masika who netted 14 goals during the national finals at World Hope Center and City Stadium in Nairobi, was the only player on the score sheet for Harambee Warriors who fought valiantly but crashed out at the group level. He netted Kenya’s consolation goals against Zimbabwe and Algeria in matches that the Warriors lost 6-1 and 2-1 respectively.
“He’s such a fine player, has the right age and is a joy to watch with the ball at his feet. This boy will go places,” said Caesar Maphala, the lead scout at the U15 tournament.
Masika’s football brain has helped him go places. He participated in the 2009 Gothia Cup in Sweden where Kenya lost to England in the quarterfinals while in 2010,he travelled to an Under-11 tournament named Mundialito in Portugal.
A brother to Ayub Timbe, he participated in his maiden COPA tournament in 2011 where he helped his team finish 3rd beyond winners Ambira and Chavakali. However, it was in this year’s COPA tournament that he lived up to his full billing as he led his team to the nationals title.
“I am grateful for the opportunities and exposure I have gotten through COPA and I’ll keep working hard to get to the level where I want to be,” said the Victor Mugubi and Andres Iniesta fan.
The Class 8 pupil at Junction Joy Primary in Kawangware is among the 15 players who have been flying Kenya’s flag high in South Africa. Although they lost all but one of their matches, team Kenya won the support of many neutrals and was the best supported team owing to their young age and attractive football.
“I would rather lose 6 or 8 nil with these Kenyan players than win with the same scoreline with most of the teams I have seen here. This group of players are destined for greatness and I hope there are plans to make them reach the heights they are capable of back in Kenya,” said Maphala who currently coaches FC Alexandria in South Africa’s Vodacom League.
Kenyan coach Edward Atanasi Wamalwa also praised the team’s performance. “I would say this for the umpteenth time; I am proud of my boys. They gave it their all in spite of being the youngest team here and the least built physically. We may not have won it but we’ll leave here with our heads held high,” he said.
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