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Vassalund has improved me, says Marcelo

Harambee Stars wingback Erick ‘Marcelo’ Ouma prepares to launch a move upfront during the international friendly match against Malawi on September 11, , behind him is fellow wingback Aboud Omar. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 13 – Former Gor Mahia left back Erick ‘Marcelo’ Ouma says moving to the Swedish third tier with Vassalund IF was a wise decision for his career, admitting he has improved a lot since joining the Stockholm based club.

Ouma spent almost six months without a club after leaving Georgian Outfit Kolkheti Poti and this was followed up with a start-stop move to Albania which never materialized. But in June, he made a brave move joining Vassalund in the Swedish third tier.

“So far so good. Sweden life is very okay with me and the experience over the past three months has been nothing short of brilliant. I have picked so much experience especially learning the European style of play,” the left back noted.

He added; “I am still adapting and I am hopeful for the best in the coming days.”

Ouma did not play a part in the Harambee Stars 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Ghana last Saturday but played a starring role in Tuesday’s friendly match against Malawi, coming on as a second half substitute to provide the assist for Francis Kahata’s winning goal.

Head coach Sebastien Migne was full of praise for the 22-year old and says he might have just pushed himself into a starting role for next month’s third AFCON qualifier against Ethiopia.

Harambee Stars wingback Erick ‘Marcelo’ Ouma prepares to launch a move upfront during the international friendly match against Malawi on September 11. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“Against Ghana, I decided to play with Aboud (Omar) and Francis but I always knew his (Ouma’s) abilities. He played very well against Malawi and I know him well because in the India tournament he was among the best players. For sure, he has a chance against Ethiopia,” Migne said.

Ouma showed an improved performance against Malawi and a new lease of life for his career that had been threatened by both injury and six-month lull.

Assessing himself, the fullback who made his name slotting straight into the Gor Mahia starting team after completing school at Kakamega High says he has vastly improved but has admitted there is still a lot to do.

“In Sweden, the demands are huge and the way of play is quite different. In terms of my technical ability, I think I have improved a lot but the journey has just started. They teach you a lot of things there and slowly, I am getting there,” he further added.

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He also notes that former Vassalund midfielder Eric Johannah who has since moved to the top tier with IF Bromma helped him settle down into life in Stockholm.

Harambee Stars wingback Erick ‘Marcelo’ Ouma attempts to block a pass from teammate Jockins Atudo during a training session at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies on September 9, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“He was here, he achieved a lot with them and when we came here with Ovellah (Ochieng), he helped us a lot in terms of settling and learning the culture. Since our grounds are not far from each other, he is always ready to assist,” Ouma said of his Harambee Stars teammate.

His target is now to follow in the footsteps of the former Mathare United man who spent just a season with Vassalund before making the big break to the top tier.

“I would like to follow in his footsteps and make the big break to the top leagues. It is a huge challenge but I am ready to work for it. It’s possible because I know my abilities,” Ouma noted.

Vassalund currently top the Second Division Norra Svealand with 52 points, six ahead of second placed Stocksund with six rounds of matches left before the end of the regular season.

A win in the play-offs will see them earn promotion to the second tier, and Ouma is confident they can squeeze in to move a division higher.

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