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Kenyan international Timbe in talks to extend his Reading stay

By Joel Omotto
Wednesday, April 15th, 2020
Timbe in action at the 2019 Afcon. Photo/FILE
In summary

Kenyan international Ayub Timbe is in the process of extending his stay with English Championship side Reading FC.

Timbe joined Reading during the January transfer window for a six-month loan deal from Chinese side Beijing Renhe but the global outbreak of coronavirus disease has complicated matters after leagues were suspended indefinitely, meaning an extension is on the cards.

The pacy winger had expected to use the loan spell to impress the side and make the deal permanent and still hopes that will be the case once leagues resume action once the Covid-19 pandemic subsides.

“I like what is going on. My contract was to end in June but we are in talks with the club for an extension.

I have been taken aback with everything here and I do not want to leave that behind,” Timbe told K24 sports presenter Shon Osimbo via Skype from his England base yesterday. 

Timbe, who has made two appearances for Reading, is awestruck by the level of professionalism in the English game, something he says is shaping him into a a world class player.

“It is a total new experience. People here are more professional and they are much more ahead. It is about handling the team’s goals.

The mentality is great and the level of concentration in games from minute one to 90 is on another level,” he added.

Unbeknown to many, Timbe’s move to Reading might have happened earlier after he received reports of the club’s interest in him last year. 

However, the move never materialised after a concrete offer failed to come and from then on. He gave up.

But the player was shocked in January when he heard of renewed interest  from Reading, but keen to avoid lightning striking twice, he never took it seriously.

“I was in pre-season with my Chinese team and all of a sudden, the president and coach of Reading showed up and I was told I have five days to be with the team. For five minutes, I was in shock, I could not believe it. It looked like a joke,” he remembered.

He went on: “This is a life-changing moment and a good challenge. I want to make the most of it.”

But while arriving at Reading seamed easy, getting into the team was not. “The team here was fully fit because they were halfway through the season while I was coming from pre-season.

I had to work extra hard in training before I got the chance to play,” said Timbe, who like everyone else is struggling to train from home due to the lockdown imposed by the British government to curb the spread of the virus.

“We have programmes from the club which we follow as we train alone but it is challenging. The fitness is still there because I run every morning and do other exercises.

But it is not the same as doing it with the team where you have balls, there is contact and someone is watching over you,” said the former Genk player.

The silver lining for staying at home is that Timbe has learnt other talents that he probably never thought he had.

“I like music and in the last four years I was so busy I never had time like this. I did not have time to explore other hobbies but now I am doing a lot of fashion and trying to do my own music,” said Timbe.

Moving to Reading made Timbe the second Kenyan international to play in England after Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama, who featured for Southampton and Tottenham, before moving to MLS side Montreal Impact last month.

The move brought a lot of excitement in Kenya with social media awash with praises for Timbe. Surprisingly, the player did not like the attention.

“I am not big on social media so I did not even notice. However, when I went to Facebook, there were so many comments and people requesting to chat with me which made me close it and open a new one. I even opened a new Instargam account,” said Timbe.

He now wants to reciprocate the love by supporting the underprivileged back home during this coronavirus pandemic.

“From Friday, we will be doing something in Kawangware, Kibera, Kangemi and the small areas I know in Nairobi. I am going to support them for three days and donate food, water, sanitizers and many more,” said the player.

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