NAIROBI, Kenya, June 5- Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga has not had the best of starts to life in the Swedish top tier league with IF Djugardens, but he is not deterred at all by the speed bumps he has experienced.
Speaking to Capital Sport, Olunga who joined the Swedish side from Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia at the beginning of the year, says he is not worried by the slow start, but more grateful that he is at least getting play time.
“If you are building a house, you always have to ensure that you have a strong foundation so that you can have a strong house. For me, I take this period as the foundation building phase. I am still trying to find my feet here, settle down and soon I know I will be off the mark,” Olunga said.
The former Gor forward, who sunk 19 goals last season for K’Ogalo enroute to their ‘invincible’ season, has played 10 out of 12 league matches for Djugardens this season, only two of them being starts.
He is however yet to score for them in the league despite netting four goals in pre-season.
“I know I will soon start scoring for the club. Everything is one step at a time. What is encouraging me is the fact that I have made it to the final 18 and I have also had playing time, however little,” Olunga offered.
Olunga says among the challenges he has faced in the new environment is the weather and language, but he is optimistic he will catch up and fully settle.
“Sometimes you find it is too cold and I am yet to get used to it. Also, the language has been a problem at times because sometimes the coach explains things in Swedish but the good thing is there are a few English speakers so I might get along sometimes. But I am catching up slowly with everything here,” the former Thika United and Tusker FC player added.
Djugardens are placed 10th on the standings on 15 points, 12 behind leaders Malmo. The team is currently facing a tough spell, losing seven of their 12 league matches and winning five.
However, Olunga is optimistic the side will turn the tide and improve with his hope still pegged on playing European football next season.
“We have endured a tough start but soon, things will be better with us. Everyone in the team is working hard for the club and hopefully, things turn for the better,” Olunga affirmed.
In the Swedish league, the winner gets an automatic slot in the Champions League while the second and third placed teams earn berths to the second tier UEFA Europa League.
The striker is on a four year contract with the Swedish side and he is set to start school to pursue his Engineering degree, one of the agreements in his contract.