NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 01 – Harambee Stars forward Michael Olunga hopes his presence can inspire his new Qatari team AL Duhail to achieve success at the FIFA Club World Cup which kicks off this week in Doha.
Duhail, the reigning Qatari champions will kick off their campaign against reigning African champions Al Ahly of Egypt on Thursday, with the winner booking a date against European champions Bayern Munich in the semi-finals.
“This is a big opportunity for me and all the platers to play in the Club World Cup. This is a big stage for all of us and we are ready for the challenge. These are some of the matches that growing up, we all dreamed of playing in. I believe with good preparations everyone is ready and we are going to do well,” Olunga said, speaking to the club’s official website.
He adds; “I thank Al Duhail for trusting me and bringing me here to help the team and I believe I have the profile to lead the team’s attack and give them the support they need in scoring goals. I believe with all the players working together and supporting each other, it will be a good tournament for us.”
He hopes his side can conquer against African champions Ahly, who have been formidable and made more competitive since the arrival of South African tactician Pitso Mosimane.
Olunga expects a tough encounter from the Egyptian giants, but remains optimistic the can muster their way around for victory.
“Al Ahly is a good team and I believe all the players and coaches know them. It is going to be a difficult challenge and different from the QSL. This is a do or die game but I believe we will work hard and do oyr level best to post good results,” notes the striker.
Olunga joined the Qatari champions in a mega-money move from Japanese side Kashiwa Reysol after an impressive season where he finished as top scorer and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player.
He arrives at the gulf with a weight of expectation on his shoulders but has already shown a glimpse of what should be expected, having scored a hattrick for Duhail as they progressed to the Cup quarter finals.
Olunga says he is so far enjoying his stay with Duhail and can’t wait to breed success at the Qatari capital.
“I am happy to join Al Duhail and I believe it is a good place for me to be now in my career to try and develop further as a player. When I came in every player welcomed me. The coaching staff were really supportive and always trying to get the best out of everyone,” said Olunga.