Kariobangi Sharks striker Masoud Juma vies for the ball with AFC Leopards defender Lewis Wanami (left) during Gotv Shield finals on October 20, 2017 at Kasarani stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLOKariobangi Sharks striker Masoud Juma vies for the ball with AFC Leopards defender Lewis Wanami (left) during Gotv Shield finals on October 20, 2017 at Kasarani stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO
By DAVID KWALIMWA

Football pundits castigated Masoud Juma after his unsuccessful attempt to secure a move to Europe earlier this year, but the 21 year-old forward insists the trip to Sweden in June helped him become the top marksman in the SportPesa Premier League this season.

The Kariobangi Sharks striker was in the Scandinavian country in June, but failed to earn a contract despite training with top flight sides AIK Fotball and Jonkopings Sodra for a fortnight.

Speaking to Nairobi News on Wednesday, moments after he was selected in new Harambee Stars coach Paul Put’s squad ahead of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, Juma shared his European experience and how it made him a better player.

‘SCORING MORE AND MORE’

“In the first couple of minutes, the coach pulled me aside and told me a few things about how I should control a football, how to make runs, and how to position myself before shooting. When I tried it, I realised I was scoring more and more… I got excited,” the youngster explained.

“I also learnt that practising on your own is important for personal development.”

Despite missing 10 league matches during the 2017 league season, Juma still emerged top scorer in the top flight with 17 goals, three more than Gor Mahia’s Rwandan striker Meddie Kagere.

The speedy forward was also the top marksman in the domestic cup (GOtv Shield) with six goals, besides also scoring once for the national team in a friendly match against Mauritania in Morocco last September.

The former Sony Sugar and Bandari forward will most likely be Kenya’s lead striker at the two week long Cecafa competition, considering the absence of Spanish based Micheal Olunga and Zesco United’s Jesse Were.