It wasn’t easy to adapt – Akumu explains why he struggled to break into Kaizer Chiefs team

The Kenya international arrived at Amakhosi at the beginning of 2020 but could not make an immediate impact

Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Anthony Akumu says injuries and difficulties to adjust to the team’s style of play slowed down his start to life at Naturena.

The defensive midfielder was a January signing brought in by former Amakhosi coach Ernst Middendorp from Zambian giants Zesco United.

But the Kenyan failed to immediately break into the Chiefs squad, but managed just 10 Premier Soccer League (PSL) appearances especially in the bio-bubble.

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“I joined the team with an injury and it wasn’t easy to break into the squad as I was still recovering,” said Akumu as per Nation Media.

“When the league resumed after lockdown I started getting game time but still it wasn’t easy to adapt. I learnt fast and I now know what is expected of me.

“I have adapted to their style of play and I am hoping to pick up from where I left when the new season kicks off. We have commenced pre-season training and I am now fully settled in the team.”

Akumu was facing competition to start especially from of Willard Katsande and it is yet to be seen if he would be part of new coach Gavin Hunt’s plan.

While he has had to deal with the fight to earn game time at Chiefs, that has also been the same situation in the Kenya national team.

Most challenge in the Harambee squad has been from former Tottenham Hotspur star and Victor Wanyama who has been difficult to dislodge.

But Akumu is guaranteed to start in Friday’s international friendly match against Zambia in the absence of US-based captain Wanyama who could not make it for the match due to coronavirus pandemic travel restrictions.

“It is always a pleasure to be called to the national team and it’s an honour to wear the jersey and represent the nation,” said Akumu.

“What happened in the past doesn’t matter, I will always give my best whenever called upon. The task right now is to face Zambia and get a good result and the coach has made it clear to me and other senior players that we need to guide the rest of the squad. I am ready to do the job and play my part in ensuring we get a positive result.”

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