Back with a bang: Avire excited for Harambee Stars return, eyes more glory

Monday, April 15th, 2024 02:50 | By
John Avire celebrates after scoring for Sofapaka against Tusker in a league match last season. Photo/SPORTPICHA

In 2019, John Avire made headlines as one of the surprise inclusion in the Harambee Stars squad for the 2019 African Cup of Nations while playing for Sofapaka Football Club in the Football Kenya Federation Premier League. At that time, Avire was only 22 years-old, ambitious and ready to affirm his immense potential internationally.

Avire would go on to make his Harambee Stars debut in a 1-0 triumph against Madagascar in a friendly match where he featured for 46 minutes being substituted for Michael Olunga

The then young promising forward had sat out entirely in another build game against Democratic Republic of Congo that ended in a 1-1 draw.

He went on to make two appearances in the 2019 AFCON against Tanzania and Senegal, both as a substitute, showing his class and what he could potentially offer for the national team after earning the trust from his then Kenya coach Sebastien Migne.

Since his show in 2019 during the continental football extravaganza in Egypt, Avire stayed away from national duty due to personal reasons and just made an impressive return after a five years hiatus.

The El Seka EL Hadid (Egypt) forward says his timely comeback is the best time of his football career after being reintroduced to the team by tactician Engin Firat for last month’s Four Nations Tournament in Malawi.

“It is always a great pleasure to represent your country.  I’m so happy to be back in the national team because it is something I have been working so hard for. My aim is to help the team achieve its goals in the upcoming matches.I would to thank the coach (Firat) for the opportunity,it really means a lot to me,” Avire expressed his elation.

The 27-year-old notes that he enjoyed every aspect in the camp before and during the tournament in Lilongwe where he scored one goal in the 4-0 against the hosts to book a final spot.

Harambee Stars beat Zimbabwe 3-1 in the final to win the tournament.

“The camp was good and I really enjoyed the professionalism in the national team. It was a good feeling to be honest because as a striker when you score it gives you more confidence and ability to show more of your skills. About my coming back to the national team, I would like first to thank God for the opportunity and I believe this the best time in my career,” Avire told People Sport.

Having now made five appearances for Harambee Stars, Avire hopes for more outings and would ultimately be part of the team in the next 2026 World Qualifying assignments against Burundi and African champions Ivory Coast in Nairobi.

His availability provides more solutions in the forward line for coach Firat considering that he can play as a winger or a striker.

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