Eric Masika: Alcohol, Fame and Laziness nearly ruined me

Those who love him, love him with so much passion. Those who hate him, also do so with the same gusto. If a book on ‘The most hated footballers’ were ever to be written, several chapters would be dedicated to him.

He fanned an already scorching hot rivalry between Kenya’s biggest clubs - AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia- when he made a transfer that shook the Kenyan football world. No player in recent years in Kenya has left a more sour taste at his former club.

One of the most promising defenders at his time, his football career has been laced with not one, not two but numerous controversies that have seen his ascendancy to the top slowed down. He has made rounds around the country and across the border over the last couple of years, and he is finally back to Kenya to resuscitate his career.

Kenyanstar caught up with defender Eric Masika for an exclusive, candid and no-holds-barred interview where the defender for the first time opens up on his move from Gor Mahia to AFC Leopards, family, injuries, education, alcoholism and just why he is not giving up.

Kenyanstar: Kindly tell us about your early  football days.

Eric Masika: My journey started in Langata playing with Langata United under the helm of Jacktone Ojera and Francis Aballa. That was in 2000 while I was still studying. After that I moved to Tusker Youth in 2004 under the tutelage of coach George Maina the now assistant coach of Posta Rangers. I stayed there until 2006 when I joined Kenya Poly FC now TUK. It was during a friendly match that Gor Mahia spotted me and I made the move.

KS: You were part of a highly talented squad at gor Mahia, and you made a big name for yourself there. What specifically worked for you at Gor Mahia?

EM: Yes we had a very good team while at Gor Mahia, and what worked for me at that moment was hard work and not to forget a good friend and focused coach in Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno. He was a father figure and he always inspired us. He brought the best out of us.

KS: You are one of few Kenyan players who made that big and controversial switch from Gor Mahia to rivals  AFC Leopards. What prompted this move? 

EM: (Laughs and pauses). You see, until now people are still saying that it is money that led me to making that move. That is not true. I just wanted a new experience and a different atmosphere. My mother never wanted me to leave Gor Mahia. So certainly the decision was not down to money or any tribal affairs as it is falsely said. No one pushed me to join AFC Leopards.

KS: To date, Gor Mahia fans still haven't forgiven you. Do you have any regrets. Also, has this move ever affected you?

EM: Yes I know some of the fans have never forgiven me to date. I do not blame them since I left at a time when I was a darling to them. I understand when they castigate me or say nasty things, since this is a game of emotions and feelings.

KS: You made the move to AFC Leopards. How do you describe your time there?

EM: My first season at afc was really good. The management ,fans,technical bench plus the players really received me well and  positively. I had a sense of belonging and the club became my second family. It was a great time and that’s why to date I am always grateful to the AFC Leopards family.

KS: Things didn't blossom as much while at Leopards. Why?

EM: While at AFC Leopards,  fame got to my head and I got lazy too. Then I suffered a terrible knee injury that slowed me down big time. I lacked playtime and there was much inconsistency in my season. I could play at times while under injections or painkillers but this wasn't really working. That dealt my career a big blow.

KS: You recently had a stint in Uganda. You however, did not stay long. How was it playing there?

EM: I left AFC Leopards after we had differences with the coach. I got an offer from Express FC  in Uganda. I arrived in Kampala and met the patron/chairlady who introduced me to the team. Unfortunately while training in the second week in August I injured my knee which really made life difficult. The Express FC management saw that it was really expensive for them catering for me. In December, we parted ways on mutual consent. It was a great experience while I was there and I can say they are a good team and were very friendly.

KS: Alcoholism and high life have been said to be the two things that slowed down your career. How true is this?

EM: On alcoholism; Yes it came to a point in my career when I was stressed and depressed about my dip in form and the nasty words that people said about me. I would get abusive calls and messages that really affected me. I was depressed and wrongly sought consolation in alcohol. This worsened matters and it only helped in me missing training, not playing and eventually being a little too careless. It is something I regret to date. I however, learnt from my mistakes and I have to be thankful to my family and parents for being supportive. Allan Wanga, a close friend, also counseled me a lot on the need to focus. On money, I cannot say that it caused my career to slow down. Nonetheless, I am now mature, more focused and settled.

KS: Do you at times feel that you are judged harshly  and misunderstood?

EM: Sometimes critics are there  to either open your eyes or make you stronger. People talk, criticize, judge but I always say that people wouldn't care to talk about you if you are nothing. What people say at times may come out harshly because they misunderstand you. The criticism however, just makes me stronger.

KS: Kindly tell us about your education journey. How much is it to a footballer’s career? Do you plan to focus on education again later in life?

EM: I would advice Kenyan footballers to really consider education and use any slight opportunities to study or get training in particular courses. The career on the pitch is quite short and quite harsh. After my football career, I would wish to be a banker or human resource manager.

KS: Critics say it is a step down for you to move to Ligi Ndogo. What necessitated this move? Are you also looking to start building again from the bottom?

EM: When I recovered from my knee injury, the transfer window was already shut. The coach of Ligi Ndogo met my at my business premise and offered me a chance to train with Ligi Ndogo until the next transfer window. I do not think it's a step down since the coach is a great tactician, the club is good in its own right and there are lots of young and talented players there. I respect the game of football, and I don't consider any club ‘small.’

KS: Have you considered retirement?

EM: Retirement has never crossed my mind I love football and I feel I still have lot to offer.

KS: What’s next for Eric Masika?

EM: I just want to be focussed on where I am playing now and also on personal business. I am a family man so I also want to dedicate more time and create more happiness there. I am looking ahead to a positive 2017. I wish to thank the critics for always pushing me and keeping Eric on his feet. To my fans, I am always thankful for their prayers, support and always believing in me.

KS: Thanks Eric! All the best ahead.

Menengai Cream Homeboyz and KCB secured home semifinal qualification at the close of the Kenya Cup’s league phase on Saturday 25 March 2017.

Kenya has improved tremendously in the past year posting positive results that has seen them rise in rankings into the top 90 in the World.

Serial satellite tour winner Matt Wallace will look to continue the habit tomorrow on the European Challenge Tour as he takes a one-shot lead into the final round of the Barclays Kenya Open after an impressive Moving Day at Muthaiga Golf Club.

The Englishman was four shots behind overnight leader Adrien Saddier but his four under par third round of 67 took him to 12 under par, with Saddier and Aaron Rai his closest rivals.

The 26 year old was unstoppable on the Alps Tour last year, winning on five successive appearances before sealing a dominant top spot in the Order of Merit by also triumphing at the Grand Final.

Top ten finishes on the Challenge Tour in Spain and Italy last season also suggested he was ready to compete at this level and he was understandably delighted with his day’s work in Nairobi as he goes in search of the biggest victory of his young career.

“I played really nicely today,” he said. “Not actually as well as the last two days, but I gave myself a lot of chances today and managed to get through a scruffy patch in the middle and finish nicely again.

“I birdied the last two holes and did the same yesterday – I had a really nice yardage into 17 and decided to really attack it and stuffed it in there really close and 18 is always a really good birdie chance.

“I really approached today the same as all week, I was obviously four shots behind Adrien so I was trying to shoot as low as I could and post a good score, but I didn’t think I’d be leading – I’m there though and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

“I’m hoping to learn from this experience because this is definitely the biggest crowd I’ve played in front of, especially the last few holes there, with a lot of people coming down. They really appreciate the good shots so hopefully I can give them something to cheer again tomorrow.

“I’ve got a local caddie on the bag this week who’s been doing the job here for 26 years – as long as I’ve been living! I talk to him a lot because I find if I go quiet I lose confidence.

“He’s been very good so far because obviously he knows the course very, very well – there’s been a few club decisions where I’ve gone ‘really?’ and it’s turned out perfect, so he knows his stuff and he knows my game well, given we’ve only been together for three or four days.

“Last year’s success was massive for me. I try to dumb it down as much as possible and say it’s just golf, and it is, but hopefully I can take the performances from last year into tomorrow.

“Jordan Smith showed last year how possible it is to move quickly to the top of the Challenge Tour from the satellite tours. I play with guys on the European Tour, Callum Shinkwin in particular, a lot and I think if I can compete with him, I know I can do it out here too.”

Three bogeys on the front nine cost France’s Saddier his lead while Englishman Rai birdied three of his final four holes for a round of 69 and a share of second place.

Welshman Rhys Davies, four times a winner on the Challenge Tour, momentarily topped the leaderboard before a scrappy back nine left him one shot further back on ten under par.

Also well within striking distance going into the final day are South Africans Jaco Ahlers and Louis De Jager and Sweden’s Jens Dantorp, all of whom share fifth place on nine under par, just three behind Wallace.

Source -- European Tour

Lots of matches for World Cup qualifiers today. We have some betting tips for you

The Hockey and Rugby teams of Upper Hill School have registered positive results as this year's Nairobi region Term One A School games got underway at State House Girls and Nairobi School.

Upper Hill won 2-0 against Nairobi School in boys' Hockey and humiliated Jamhuri School 31-0 in Boys' Rugby.

But while Nairobi school salvaged their day beating Aquinas 38-0 in Rugby, Jamhuri's bad day continued suffering yet another humiliating 34-3 defeat against Muhuri Muvhiri  in Boys' Rugby.

In Other results Parklands Arya won 2-0 against Hillcrest in Girls Hockey and proceeded to 3-0 against Kianda while still in boys' Hockey, Starehe won 2-1 against Makongeni.

The games will continue on Sunday the 26th with the regional winners proceeding to the finals to be played in April. 

National Hockey Champions Friends School Kamusinga from Bungoma County were eliminated from this year's competition after a 1-0 loss to Kakamega County's Musingu High School in the finals of the Western region Term one A school Games. Musingu will now represent the region at the Nationals to be played in April.

In basketball Boys finals, Busia County's Sigalame High School white washed Vihiga's Chavakali 107-34 to seal to book a ticket for the finals. The games were played at St. Peters High School in Mumias. 

The Western Region will be represented at the finals by the following schools;


Musingu High School - Boys 

Misikhu High School - Girls 


Sigalame High School - Boys

Tigoi High School - Gils 


Good news for the Blues! Eden Hazard is reportedly set to return to training next week as he continues his recovery from a calf injury.

Liverpool will welcome back Steven Gerrard this Saturday as the adored son of the Kop makes a return to his boyhood Club.

Manchester City and England goalkeeper Joe Hart has spoken about his life at Italian side Torino and where he wants to be next.

Aussie gun Daniel Ricciardo has crashed out during qualifying for the Melbourne Grand Prix.

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel beat his own lap record at Albert Park as he topped the time-sheet in the final free practice before the Australian Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday.

The four-times champion Germans lap of one minute 23.380 seconds eclipsed his pole record of 1:23.529 set at the lakeside circuit in 2011, and was nearly half a second faster than both the Mercedes cars.

New Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who replaced retired champion Nico Rosberg, was second fastest, just edging three-times champion teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen was fourth, with Nico Hulkenberg fifth in his Renault.

Red Bulls Daniel Ricciardo was sixth fastest, with his teammate Max Verstappen 12th.

Williams rookie driver Lance Stroll skidded into a barrier and blew a tyre, causing the red flag to be raised with 10 minutes left in the session.

The session was then called off, leaving constructors champions Mercedes unable to improve upon their times and adding spice to the qualifying session later on Saturday.

Hamilton was fastest in both practice sessions on Friday.

Ireland and Everton defender Seamus Coleman faces up to a year on the sidelines after breaking his leg during a World Cup qualifier against Wales.

The ever-present risk of serious leg injuries in football was unfortunately realised once again as Wales’ Neil Taylor was shown a red card for a poor tackle during the 0-0 draw.

Once he realised what had happened, Coleman held onto his damaged leg while waiting for help.

Coleman was given oxygen on the field as medical staff attempted to immobilise his leg before taking to and ambulance and then hospital.

The final score took a back seat to Coleman’s well-being  after the match.

“It’s a bad break. Seamus is a fantastic player and character - it’s a major blow for the lad, for his club and for us,’’ Ireland manager Martin O’Neill told the UK’s Sky Sports.

“Apparently it wasn’t the best challenge in the world - I haven’t seen it back - but naturally disappointed. He’s gone to hospital and I think it’s broken.

“I saw Seamus’ reaction - he was holding his leg up and it didn’t look good.”

The length of Taylor’s suspension is yet to the decided but one this is for sure – Coleman is facing a lengthy stint of rehab before his professional career resumes.

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France’s national railway company, SNCF, and professional and financial services group Deloitte have signed up as official supporters of France’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

SNCF will advise the French Rugby Federation (FFR) on transport and sustainable mobility options, and support the implementation of a ticketing strategy for the World Cup.

The company will also provide logistical support to the FFR during different stages of the application process while promoting the bid both nationally and internationally.

Deloitte’s French division will work with the FFR on drafting budgets and financing plans for the event.

FFR president Bernard Laporte said: “(We are) very pleased to be able to count on the expertise of these two companies with world-renowned know-how to help us in our application. This support again illustrates the strong mobilisation of the economic world behind #France2023.”

France faces competition from Ireland and South Africa in its bid to stage the 2023 World Cup. The World Rugby Council will select the winning bid on November 15.


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