Kenya Police wonderkid reveals his biggest lesson since joining Harambee Stars in maiden call-up

Kenya Police wonderkid reveals his biggest lesson since joining Harambee Stars in maiden call-up

Mark Kinyanjui 11:00 - 29.05.2024

The talented young stopper has reveals what he has learnt since commencing training with Harambee Stars a week ago.

Harambee Stars defender Brian Okoth has opened up on the biggest things he has learnt since reporting to the Harambee Stars camp shortly after the provisional squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers for the matches against Burundi and Ivory Coast were announced.

Okoth, who signed for Kenya Police from FC Talanta back in January, has become a stalwart at the heart of their defence, managing to displace experienced defender David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng from the backline, as Police have improved their fortunes dramatically under Salim Babu.

Since making his debut in the FKF Cup against Mombasa Stars, he has not looked back. Speaking after Police dumped AFC Leopards out of the controversial FKF Cup semi final on Monday morning, Okoth was quick to explain his meteoric rise.

“It has not been easy because joining a team full of experienced pros like Cheche and Musa Mohammed was challenging,” Okoth told Pulse Sports.

“Coming from nowhere, especially when you have not played a lot of top flight football was a tall order. I really had nothing to lose in such a situation but I tried to impress as much as possible. No one expected me to get into the first eleven this early.

“I started on the bench, but had to really impress in training. The mistakes I used to make, I made sure I would refine in training. When I made my debut against Mombasa Stars in the cup, I was making sure to listen to the older guys and learn as much as possible. It has all been about consistency.

The fourth year student at the Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) has been so impressive, Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat decided to call him up to the squad, and Pulse Sports understands that he has been flying in training.

Now, he has revealed what he has learnt since commencing training with the side.

“I have met both international and local pros. The way they behave, there is a difference,” Okoth told Pulse Sports.

Some of the foreign-based players are already in camp, including Bruce Kamau, Andrew Wilson, Tobias Knost and John Avire 

Okoth was quick to hail the likes of Avire and Teddy Akumu for setting incredibly high standards and pushing him to be better at what he does.

“You learn alot from the likes of Teddy and Avire. You realise there is a massive difference between both sets of players.

“If you interact with them and train with them, you adapt. You cannot afford to rest on your laurels. You have to work hard to impress the coach.

Okoth has revealed that Stars’ training has given him no time to really relax, considering the competitive nature of sessions, with everyone keen to impress Firat enough to play against Burundi and Ivory Coast.

“Every teammate has been involved because even when I make mistakes , their standards are high and they demand that I pull up my socks.” 

“If I do well, they are quick to congratulate me, and ask me to keep it up.”

Given he was playing for the now-defunct Vihiga Bullets just over a year ago, his progess has been remarkable, but he has now revealed what earning a slot on the plane to Malawi and even getting some minutes would mean to him.

“I am confident. I have been called up to play. I am confident I will play. I will feel honored. It would be a massive step but I am ready.”

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