NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 6 – Having made his debut for Gor Mahia on Sunday evening in a 1-1 draw against Mathare United at the Kasarani Stadium, Harambee Stars legend Dennis Oliech has described it as the hardest game in his life, especially having stayed for close to two years without club football.
Oliech came in for Nicholas Kipkurui after 67 minutes and had some flushes of brilliance and should have twice had a goal on his debut, first as he dived in to a Boniface Omondi cross while in the second opportunity, a forest of Mathare defenders blocked his view as he went for a shot from close range.
“This was the most difficult match of my life. Not even the numerous Harambee Stars games,” Oliech told Capital Sport just after the game against Mathare.
He added; “This was my first match and the most important thing for me was the impact I was to make. People were expecting a lot and that made it more difficult. The competitive feeling is coming back slowly and I think I am building up nicely.”
“Coming off the bench, from experience is very tough. But, I expect to start on Wednesday against Posta Rangers.”
Oliech, still panting form the rigorous warm down he was put through as well as the other substitutes who played under half an hour said he was delighted to make his debut for Gor and furthermore mark a return to the Kenyan Premier League.
“It was nice. I remember when I was starting off as a 17-year old, I used to play 10, 15 minutes and I slowly built on that. It is the same now,” a delighted Oliech stated.
Coming on, Oliech caused some jitters to the Mathare United backline and coach Francis Kimanzi admitted as much, that he had to guide his young backline to contain the mental fist-fights that came with the striker’s entrance.
“It was a psychological thing which tried to disturb my boys but we had prepared well mentally for it, that we don’t care who plays but they play against Mathare United,” said the tactician.
With a target of scoring more than 20 goals, Oliech says his biggest ambition is to help Gor retain the KPL title and personally for him to win a title after a long time in his career.
“My focus now is on helping Gor Mahia win the league. Personally, I want to win a trophy because it has been so long since that happened. The last time I won a title was in 2010 when we won the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in Mwanza with Harambee Stars. I want that feeling all over again,” he noted.
Commenting on whether or not he will be ready to step into the national team for an opportunity to play at the Cup of Nations, Oliech says that will only count as a bonus as it is not on his mind.
Oliech scored the all-important goal against Cape Verde that took Kenya to it’s last ever African Cup of Nations in 2004 and was also on the score sheet netting the second goal as Kenya beat Burkina Faso 3-0 for its only win in the tournament staged in Tunisia.
“For me, I am not thinking about that very much now. My focus is on Gor Mahia and helping the team do well in the league and continentally. That will come later,” he further stated.