NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 24 – Harambee Stars forward Michael Olunga has been named the Japanese second division league player of the month of August after his impressive run for his club Kashiwa Reysol.
Olunga was directly involved in eight goals in five games in an impressive run by Reysol, scoring six and assisting two as the side stretched their lead further on top of the standings as they eye a return to the top tier.
“I am very pleased to get this award and being recognized as the best player in the whole league. This has been down to a lot of hard work and self belief and I believe now I am more settled in the team and it makes things easier for me,” stated the lanky forward.
Olunga scored his first hattrick in the Japanese league in the 4-1 win over Renogo Yamaguchi, assisted twice in the 5-1 win over FC Ryukyu, scored the winner against Varen Nagasaki in their 2-1 victory and helped himself to a brace in the 4-0 thrashing of FC Gifu.
His impressive returns in August have seen him move to a tally of 14 goals and four assists in 22 games.
His target for the remaining nine games of the campaign is not only helping Reysol earn a spot back to the J1 league but also reach a minimum 20 goals, surpassing his best return of 19 during Gor Mahia’s unbeaten title winning 2015 season.
“It would be a great way to end the season if I can surpass my best ever scoring season. It will show a lot of growth and I am determined to achieve that target,” Olunga further told Capital Sport from his base in Japan.
The forward’s red hot form comes at the right time, just two months before Kenya begins its campaign to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations with Egypt and Togo lying in wait next November.