From the NPL to Africa Cup of Nations: Kamsoba earns international call-up

Melbourne Victory’s Elvis Kamsoba’s meteoric rise continues after he was selected in Burundi’s 28-man squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

This time last year Kamsoba was playing with Avondale in the Victorian NPL and only made his Hyundai A-League debut with Victory in January.

Now, after just 16 appearances in the competition, the 22-year-old is set to line-up in the major continental tournament, which takes place in Egypt from June 21 to July 19.


It’s the first time Burundi have qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations, and they will take on three-time winners Nigeria (June 22), fellow first-timers Madagascar (June 27) and the 1976 finalists Guinea (June 30).

The African nation previously tried to call Kamsoba up in March, only for the winger to decline, telling Goal Australia he still had aims of representing the Caltex Socceroos.

"I'm still in between deciding, I wasn't sure," Kamsoba told Goal.

"I told them, for now, to just wait until I'm 100% sure what I want to do.

Elvis Kamsoba in action for Avondale in last year's FFA Cup
Kamsoba in FFA Cup action for Avondale last season

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"My aim is obviously to play for Australia and if I get a chance that will be something special for me and my family."

But with the lure of featuring at Africa’s showpiece tournament, Kamsoba has had a change of heart and now could play a key role for Olivier Niyungeko’s side in Egypt.

Elvis Kamsoba
Elvis Kamsoba (right) with Burundi teammates ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations