Collins Sichenje explains how Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat has raised his game

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STARS ABROAD Collins Sichenje explains how Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat has raised his game

Festus Chuma 08:02 - 30.10.2023

Kenyan sensation, Collins Sichenje, reflects on his dream come true as he continues to shine with the national team.

Sweden-based defender Collins Sichenje has shared his remarkable journey with the Kenya men's national football team, Harambee Stars.

Having received his first call-up in March 2020 under former coach Francis Kimanzi, Sichenje has quickly become a regular in the squad.

In an interview, he shared his thoughts on the experience, development, and pride he feels representing his nation.

"It has been a great experience because the national team operates at an international level, with many talented players, and it has played a significant role in my development,” he said, emphasizing the impact of Harambee Stars on his career.

Sichenje was quick to acknowledge the instrumental role played by Harambee Stars' current coach, Engin Firat, in his development as a player.

"The coach of the national team believes in me and trusts me. He provides valuable assistance and thoroughly analyzes my games at KuPS, which has been incredibly beneficial for my football development this year,” he added, highlighting the invaluable support he has received from the coaching staff.

Reflecting on his childhood dreams, Sichenje stated, "When one is young, they have a dream, and it's every player's dream to represent their nation. 

"So, it was a proud moment for me and my family when I finally achieved that dream. I used to tell my brother when I was young that one day I would play for the national team, and it's something that has come true. Whenever I go for national team training, it brings a smile to my face."

Sichenje's rapid rise in the football world has not gone unnoticed, as his current market value stands at an impressive €400,000 (Ksh63 million) according to Transfermarkt.

The journey for Sichenje began in Green Commandos, a renowned Kenyan Secondary school games powerhouse, specifically at Kakamega High School.

His talent and dedication soon led him to AFC Leopards in 2019, where he made an immediate impact, earning his first call-up to the national team in 2020.

However, his football journey took an international twist as he signed with PAOK B in Greece in 2020. Despite the high expectations, Sichenje returned to AFC Leopards after a brief stint in Greece.

His return to Ingwe, as AFC Leopards is fondly known, was short-lived, as Swedish side AIK (Allmänna Idrottsklubben) came knocking for the lanky defender. Though the move to AIK came with enormous expectations, Sichenje faced challenges settling in and subsequently went on loan to Kuopion Palloseura (KuPS).

Sichenje and KuPS experienced heartbreak on the final day of the Finland league as HJK Helsinki clinched the Veikkausliiga title on goal difference, marking a bittersweet ending to his loan spell.