KISUMU, Kenya, Aug 1 – Mention the top 10 Kenyan footballers over the last decade or so and high chances are, almost 75pc in that list are players who have passed through Mwalimu Peter Orero’s hands, the current Principle at Dagoretti High School.
Orero, also the chairman of the Kenya Secondary School Sports Association (KSSSA) has nurtured some of the finest footballers in Kenya’s recent football history; top of the pile being Dennis Oliech, MacDonald Mariga and his younger brother Victor Wanyama.
Just to name but a few, Andrew Oyombe, Jamal Mohammed, Musa Mohammed, Kevin ‘Ade’ Omondi, David Gateri, Ovela Ochieng and Michael Olunga are some of the players who have gone through Orero’s hands during his time at Kamukunji Boys, Lang’ata High and Upper Hill.
“I am a sports oriented person and what I do is more of training and giving the students a chance to express themselves and explore their talents. I think that is what propels my schools to such kind of performances,” Orero told Capital Sports in Kisumu.
And it is not only in football that his schools have excelled in. While at Upper Hill, the school suddenly became a force to reckon with in basketball and rugby and was a huge competitor in every term’s national games.
He joined Dagoretti High School in 2017 and within that period has managed to aid the school to consecutive national games and reached the semis in both. This year, he has also brought in his Under-16 side which is competing in the Copa Coca-Cola, also in the semis.
But what is the secret to his success?
“In developing players, you must be able to identify talent and most coaches don’t know how to identify and enhance that talent. You must also know how to enable the students reach the peak of their careers in your hands while also making a balance in their school work,” Orero explains.
“You must also know what kind of players you have and what they need to develop and nurture. I think this is what I do differently, what other schools do not do,” he added.
He might be the school head and has delegated coaching duties to other individuals, but Orero is always on the touchline to ensure everything runs smoothly and is always pushing his players to do well.
“I feel great when I see my players excelling out there. The likes of Wanyama being the first East African to play in England, Mariga winning the Champions League, Oliech with all his exploits and now Olunga doing very well in Japan…. but these days I have gotten used to it seeing my players succeed,” Orero adds with a joke.
He hasn’t stopped with the likes of Olunga who was an A student at Upper Hill and from his team that played in the Under-20 Schools Championship last year, Finlay Osoro and Peter James Outo while two more from the current squad have already been snapped by Sharks.
Left back and captain Boniface Mwangemi as well as midfielder Derrick Omondi have been snapped up by the Kenyan Premier League side. Two more players have been signed up by second tier side Nairobi Stima.
Mwangemi, nicknamed Marcelo was also in Kenya’s Under-17 team that played an invitational tournament in Alexandria, Egypt in April this year.
“Already there are signs that we are producing good players and in the next two or three years, you will see more. That is what we want to do. Give these young players a chance to nurture their talent and make a living out of it,” further stated Orero.
With his current Dagoretti side, the principal hopes he can clinch the national title just as he did with his previous schools.
“This year we have a better team because we are more experienced that when we came in last year. The players are sharper and know what is required of them at this stage so I am hopeful that we can do it,” he added.