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Commandos’ Atola wants to mirror Olunga

Kakamega High School striker Henry Atola is congratulated by Education Principal Secretary Bellio Kipsang after guiding the team to the Schools’ title. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 1- Henry Atola’s image will linger in the memories of Kakamega High School fans for a while with his injury time winner having gifted them their 14th National Secondary School Games football title in Eldoret last weekend with a 1-0 win over Central’s Olbolosat.

Atola, a tall, shy but a menacing striker was at the heart of Kakamega’s campaign at the School Games in Eldoret and his success from the week-long tournament has pushed him to believe he can actually do better, his hero of choice being Harambee Stars forward Michael Olunga.

Olunga who currently plies his trade in the Chinese top tier made his name at the School Games, starring for Upper Hill School before he made his big moves in the Kenyan Premier League to Thika United, Tusker FC and Gor Mahia.

“I look at him and how much he has succeeded and that is the same path I want to follow. He was in the school games and excelled just like me and hopefully, I can follow in his footsteps. He is my role model,” the Form Three student noted.

He is also encouraged by the other big names who excelled from their performances in the school games including Harambee Stars skipper Victor Wanyama, his elder brother MacDonald Mariga, Dennis Oliech among others.

“Football is what I want to do as a career and everyday I work hard at it. I know that I can be successful as long as I keep the discipline and work hard,” added the tactician.

Atola also plays for the Green Commandos team that features in the National Super League and has banged in seven goals so far. His coach Brendan Mwinamo is also pleased with how the forward has performed so far and has tipped him for success.

“He is a very brilliant striker and he has shown it on the pitch. He is scoring in the NSL which is a tough league and even here in the school games, he has shown his worth,” Mwinamo said.

Kakamega High School players celebrate after winning the National Secondary School games football title. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

The striker now hopes he can translate that same form when the team travels for the East Africa School Games in Musanze Rwanda where he wants to help the side clinch the regional title.

“It was great for us winning the title at home and now we want to go and get the East African gong as well. We have a good team, we have the belief and with hard work, nothing is impossible,” added the striker.

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