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Tusker’s Zakayo on how he won coach Matano’s faith to start back-to-back games

11:18 GMT+4 02/02/2022
Tusker striker Eric Zakayo.
The 18-year-old reveals how he worked hard in silence to win the heart of Brewers coach Matano and a starting role in the team

Tusker Youth Team graduate Eric Zakayo has revealed how his patience and staying positive paid off to hand him back-to-back starts in the FKF Premier League.

The 18-year-old is among the players who were promoted by the league champions from the youth team to the senior squad at the start of the season and he has struggled to cement his place in the starting XI.

However, two weeks ago, he was handed a start when Tusker hosted promoted side Vihiga United at Ruaraka grounds and he scored as they won 2-0. Coach Matano kept his faith and started him in the second-round meeting against the same team, but the game ended in a 0-0 draw in Kakamega.

Zakayo now believes he has what it takes to continue playing more for the team, and says he is ready for the challenge on his hands.

What did Zakayo say?

“It was a really great feeling and I thank God, I also thank the coach because he really pushed me in training,” Zakayo told Tusker TV as quoted by the club’s official website.

“Despite not getting a chance, I didn’t take it negatively and I was patient. I kept working hard and doing extra training on my own as I wait for my chance because I knew it would come.

“When it came I took it with both hands, I feel motivated because there are many good players in the team and when you are given a chance, you have to prove and show that you deserve it by playing well and helping the team get more points.

“The more you play, the more confidence you get and so far after the two games, I feel more determined and hungrier. I will keep doing my best to create and also if chances come, score goals as well. Scoring builds confidence.

On coming up against Bandari on Wednesday, Zakayo said: “It will be a tough match because Bandari is also a good team and they will be coming all out to win. As a team, we will do our best to get the three points.”

Meanwhile, Tusker’s new signing Shaphan Oyugi says he is keen to show his qualities after joining the Brewers in the January transfer window as a free agent.

Oyugi, who last featured for Biashara United in Tanzania’s Mainland Premier League and has previously turned out for Kariobangi Sharks, has set a target of scoring seven goals before the current campaign concludes.

‘I just want to keep helping the team’

“I have played two matches so far and I am really happy with the opportunity to come here,” Oyugi told the same portal.

“It has been a long time since I played and my match fitness was a bit low over the first two games but I am thankful that I am coming up really well now. I have an assist in two matches and I just want to keep helping the team.

“My target for the season is to score at least seven goals and provide as many assists as possible. I am a midfielder and I should contribute to the goals. Moreso, I just want to do my best to help the team attain good results.”

On why he joined Tusker, Oyugi explained: “I was very pleased to come to Tusker because even when I was a kid in school, I had always hoped to play for this club one day and now it has come true.

“It is up to me to show why I wanted to come here by working hard and doing well.”

Tusker will face the Dockers at Ruaraka grounds on Wednesday.