Gor Mahia midfielder Tobias Omondi has had a good start at the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions and it seems he will keep his place at the heart of midfield for a while, if head coach Steven Pollack’s recent match squads are anything to go by.
In an exclusive interview with Soka on July 4, Tobias termed his move to Gor Mahia as one inspired by the prospect of playing at the continental stage, winning local trophies, an added bonus.
”I saw a CAF opportunity at Gor Mahia, to upgrade my football and grow. It’s a big team also, and chances of winning matches and trophies are high,” Tobias says in the interview.
Fast- forward to mid-August and the 20-year-old has already turned out twice for the Kenyan champions- and most importantly, has extended his continental football by another round.
Gor Mahia edged Burundian champions Aigle Noir 5-1 on Sunday 25 August in a return leg of the CAF Champions League preliminary round, the first leg had ended a barren stalemate in Bujumbura. Tobias played in both. It thrills him.
”This is what dreams are made of. I am proud of myself for standing up. Not to say that it’s easy but when you get a chance to represent a club of Gor Mahia’s stature you have to be at your best,” he tells Soka.
The former Sony Sugar man plays in coach Steven Pollack’s central midfield – diminutive in physique but a colossus in ball distribution and breaking up play for the opponents. He wants more this season after winning the KPL Super Cup earlier on.
”We have a good team here and an even better technical bench. There are very many young players in the team and as much as we are not too experienced, we make up for that with playing our hearts out,” adds Omondi who also plays for the Kenya U23 team.
Omondi is just but one of K’Ogalo’s fresh legion of youth recently signed at the club – occasioned by the exits of Harun Shakava, Francis Kahata, Jacques Tuyisenge and the likes. Very little continental experience remains at the side – in fact, from yesterday’s starting team, only Joash Onyango and captain Kenneth Muguna had been regular starters in the CAF Confederation Cup last season. Tobias believes everyone has a starting point.
”You never know how far one can go in football, but one thing is for sure- we all have to start somewhere. This is a start for most of us, and we will make the very best of it whenever called upon,” he concludes.
Coach Pollack’s boys have a dicey fixture up next in the continent, Algerian side USM Alger will be their final hurdle before teams head into the group stages. In their Kenyan Premier League opener, they take on 2016 champions Tusker FC in Kisumu on Sunday 1 September.