Kenyan teen signs up for Swedish top flight team

Cyprian Kimutai 09:58 - 25.08.2022

18-year-old footballer Timothy Noor Ouma is a man swimming in euphoria and ecstasy after sealing a move to Swedish club Idrottsföreningen Elfsborg, more commonly known as IF Elfsborg.

The former Nairobi City Stars midfielder confirmed the signing on Wednesday, August 24. According to IF Elfsborg, Ouma has signed a contract that extends to 2026.

Reacting to the signing, Ouma commonly referred to as 'Babu' expressed his excitement about joining the Swedish side. He also highlighted how he was looking forward to exploring the city of Borås and meeting his teammates.

"It feels great to be here! Everything is new to me – but the stadium and the surroundings here are very good. Now I'm looking forward to meeting my new teammates," said Ouma.

Babu began his career at Laiser Hill Academy. He was then signed to the Nairobi City Stars where in the 2021/2022 FKF Premier League season he recorded 7 goals and 8 assists in 29 starts. The team managed to finish the season in the fifth position.

In 2021, Ouma also made two appearances for Harambee Stars against neighbours Uganda and Rwanda. This was during the African qualifying round for the World Cup. His debut against the former ended in a 1–1 draw. The second appearance with the latter saw Kenya win 2–1.

It was during the African qualifiers when the midfielder interacted with former IF Elfsborg player Joseph Okumu. Okumu made 34 appearances for the club between 2019-2021, before moving to Belgian side Gent.

"I was called up at short notice in the U20s, but didn't get the chance to play. That same year I got to play in the senior team, and there I played with Joseph Okumu. He told me about Elfsborg, and said it's a good club and a good team to play in," stated Ouma.

Ouma further revealed he was yearning for a move to Europe and he settled on Elfsborg as he believes their style of play perfectly suits him. 

"I've seen a few games Elfsborg has played and I think it looks good. I've always wanted to play in Europe and like the team's style of play. I'm impressed with the players, and I think I'll fit in well here," he told the club's website. 

Club Manager Stefan Andreasson while welcoming the player, expressed his optimism at watching Babu in action. He also thanked Nairobi City Stars for a smooth handover between the clubs.

"Timothy is a player that we have followed for a long time and who we are now very happy to welcome to IF Elfsborg. After a good dialogue with Nairobi Stars and a strong will from Timothy to come to IF Elfsborg, Timothy is now being bought out of Nairobi Stars and has signed a contract valid until the 2026 season. Now we look forward to continuing to develop him as a player and as a person."