NAIROBI, April 6 – The 2015 SportPesa Premier League Player of the Year Michael Olunga says he wants to replicate his local form to his new life at Swedish top tier side Djugardens IF.
The forward moved to the Strockholm-based club at the start of the year after his loan stint with Kenyan champions Gor Mahia lapsed at the end of last season.
Speaking to Capital Sport, Olunga disclosed his main target is to better his 2015 form, now that he has adapted at Djugardens IF where he has notched three goals, all coming from friendly matches.
“I have fitted well into the team, the coach believes in me and I have started getting playing time. It has been a great time here and I’m learning new things as a striker many of which I couldn’t at the KPL. I hope to replicate my goal scoring form from last season and my target is to be among the top scorers of my club if not the whole league,” he asserted.
Olunga says he has been working hard to adapt to the climate in Sweden and despite arriving during winter, he has worked his way to ensure he settles and concentrates on his football.
“The tempo of the game is high and the quality of players is top class. There are adjustments I had to make and there are certain aspects of the game you have to learn. It took me time to know how the system works because it’s different from the one I was used to at Gor,” Olunga added.
The Engineering student, who also played for Tusker FC and Thika United prior to joining K’Ogalo for a one season, made his league debut in Djugardens’ 2-0 away win to Orebro over the weekend.
Olunga came on as a substitute to replace Mathias Ranégie in the 78th minute with his side already two up courtesy of Gambian defender Omar Colley and Liberian forward Sam Johnson.
Djugardens have stated their season on a positive note to sit top of the Swedish Premier League and Olunga hopes he can inspire the side either qualify for the UEFA Champions League or Europa next season to join fellow countrymen MacDonald Mariga, Victor Wanyama, Dennis Oliech and George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo, who have all featured in the prestigious Champions League.
“Last season, Djugardens finished sixth in the league and I believe if we work hard we can finish top three this season. Playing in the Champions League is very important because it gives you more visibility to other clubs and there is an opportunity for growth,” Olunga noted.
-Kimani awaits debut-
Meanwhile, former Tusker FC and Mathare United winger Kevin Kimani is eagerly waiting to make a debut for his new club Jomo Cosmos in the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) before the season ends.
Kimani joined Cosmos early last month after club owner Jomo Sono spotted him during Kenya’s World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde and followed him up to the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in Ethiopia.
However, Kimani has not been able to play for the club since signing due to lack of work permit.
“I’m just waiting for the papers to be sorted for me to be available for selection. I’ve been told the papers are in the final stages so I’m hopeful I will play soon,” Kimani told South African football website Kick Off.
Cosmos sit 14th on the PSL standings on 20 points, just three into safety with seven matches left to the end of the season.
Maritzburg United, home to Kenyan international Brian Mandela are bottom on 16 points and risk relegation.
Mandela did not feature in the club’s last match, a 2-0 loss at the hands of Mpumalanga Black Aces in the Nedbank Cup after picking up a groin injury while on national duty.
“We have an opportunity and I I’m positive we will bounce out of the bottom,” Mandela said.
Another Kenyan abroad blinded by the relegation blues is Greece based Paul Were after his FC Kalloni side was dropped to the second tier but the winger is banking hope on a proposed increase of teams in the Greek top tier from the current16 to 18.
“We are waiting to see how things go but hopefully if the proposal is accepted, we can push and finish at 15th and remain in the league,” Were who has two years remaining on his contract outlined.
Were was an unused sub as Kalloni played to a barren draw at home with AEK Athens on Sunday.
Elsewhere in the United States, defender David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng was an unused sub as his new club New York Cosmos won 3-0 at home to Ottawa Fury.