I was made for football and I’m a lion on the pitch, City Stars striker Davis Agesa says
Davis Agesa has been one of the shining stars for promotion-chasing National Super League (NSL) side Nairobi City Stars this season. The 24-year-old striker has so far this season scored six goals, made five assists and won four Man of the Match awards.
He has also had short professional stints in Seychelles and India.
Here are excerpts from an exclusive interview he recently granted Nairobi News.
Share your background from Primary to High School
I started my kindergarten at a private school – Emmanuel Academy then moved on to a public school in Kawangware Primary School for my primary education for eight successive years. Later on, I proceeded to Kaimosi Boys High School for my secondary education.
Share with us your football journey in high school and how far that took you
My football career escalated while in high school because in primary school, I played little football even though outside school I was an academy player at His-Majesty Foundation. During year one in high school, it was impossible to get through to the school team due to a great talent pool. I had already joined Vapor Sports Academy in Kawangware as I went to high school but even then the minimal academy experience I had acquired was not enough. But my breakthrough came while I was in Form 2 as I joined the school team.
Kaimosi High was dominant at the District and Regional levels but the Provincial level always proved tough due to the presence of big boys such as Chavakali High School and Vihiga High School. In my last year in school – Form 4 – I got offers to join Vihiga Allstars as well as Chavakali High School but I turned both down.
How did you join City Stars and how were your early years in the club football?
I joined City Stars from Vapor FC under the guidance of coach John Amboko who enhanced my development from the academy level. It was in the middle of the season just right at the start of the second leg in June 2017.
I quickly adjusted to the competitiveness of the National Super League (NSL) and earned a spot in the first team right away and bagged a brace in my second match against Migori Youth leading City Stars to a 2-1 win. Help from the coach and fellow teammates who supported me since my early days made me feel at home at City Stars.
We are made to understand you played outside the country in India and Seychelles. Please share your adventure with us. Do you aspire to return abroad?
It was a whole new experience at the professional level in Seychelles. Different types of players, different types of mentality, but same football. though in a very different environment which was tough due to high humidity.
This was in 2015 when I signed a one-year contract with Revengers FC. I stayed at the club for six-months but terminated the contract on mutual consent due to financial struggles at the club. I then returned to Vapor Sports.
In late 2018 I was to join Baridhara in East India (Bangladesh) but that didn’t go well as I suffered an LCL knee injury while playing pre-season tournaments. It was my first major injury and a major setback and I struggled to recover from it. I never even got to sign a contract for Baridhara.
With the experience I have now, I aspire to return abroad at a professional level. From my past travel I learned and gained a lot which I believe got me to grow to a better player. I believe I have the quality to deserve an opportunity abroad and when it arrives I’ll always be waiting at the dock, ready.
Tell us your worst moments while at City Stars
My worst moment at City Stars has to be a period in which I traveled back from East India with that knee injury. I had left the team on high (before joining Thika United in early 2018) but upon return, I found a struggling lot and right at the bottom of the NSL table. It was heartbreaking and I felt helpless with my knee injury. But as soon as I started feeling better (not fully recovered though) I did try to put in a fight for the team. We did well and at the end of the season, we escaped the NSL red zone.
Some fans have said you have too much power and speed and you should consider switching to rugby, your thoughts?
(Laughing) If I am able to multitask then why not go for it? I would probably excel there… but then again maybe I’d be referred to boxing when I am in rugby. Truth be told, I was made for football so I’d rather stick to my lane.
What can you say of the current City Stars setup? Is this the year the team will go up to the KPL?
I have to give all the appreciation to Jonathan Jackson his Foundation for sponsoring the team. The new set-up that has massively improved the welfare of the players and outlook of the club.
With our new coach Sanjin Alagic and the assistance of the technical bench, we have improved immensely and without a doubt, I can say we are a quality team. With this managerial setup, I feel we are cut out for better things in years to come. If I go by the results and the performance we’ve pulled in so far, then this has to be the year Nairobi City Stars will go to the KPL.
You play as a striker, attacking midfielder and a right-winger as well. What is your preferred position?
In high school, I was a deep-lying attacking midfielder featuring predominantly behind the strikers. I created, assisted and scored goals. Over the years I have been lucky to be managed by different types of coaches and trainers all of whom have had different tactical approaches to the game. That means I’ve been deployed at different positions of attacking as I have the quality to adjust to any of them. But the one position I feel at home with is as a striker.
As a forward, you have to contend with mean defenders. Who are some of those that cause you nightmares?
I have faced tough opponents, but I can’t point out the mean one who stands out from the rest because I always beast my way around. So far no nightmares yet because I am a lion (laughs).
Who inspires you the most at City Stars?
I find every single player at City Stars as an inspiration indifferent ways because I look at each of them from a different perspective but I’d say the one who stands out the most in the team has to be our goalkeeper Levis Opiyo because of his winning mindset, professionalism, and passion for the game.
The good thing is that he happens to be one of my closest friends in the team as we have a good relationship; he pushes me to perform and I push him as well.
Locally, which player(s) do you look up to?
That has to be former national striker Allan Wanga and current striker Michael Olunga
When not training and playing football what else occupies your time?
When I’m not in the field I’m at home resting as I spend time with my family, watching TV a lot and playing some FIFA games.
Finally, when you hang your boots someday, what will you venture into?
When I finally wave goodbye to playing I want to be in a position where I’ll be able to give back to the football society. Basically, I will still revolve around football because football is what I live for.