Mathare United youngster Norman Ogolla has described his debut for the club as a “surreal” achievement, one that he is still struggling to believe.
The 18-year-old earned his first appearance for Mathare on Saturday 9 January when the 2008 league champions kicked-off their BPL campaign with an away tie against Sofapaka FC in Wundanyi.
Even though the game ended in defeat for the Salim Ali coached side, leftback Ogolla, who was one of six debutants in the game for Mathare, was elated that a year on after signing for the club, he was able to earn his first appearance.
Humbled and grateful
He is quoted on the club’s social media handles as saying, “I still can’t believe that I’ve made my debut for this club. It’s a surreal feeling and I am very humbled and grateful to the coach for taking a chance in me. Not just in the Sofapaka game but just believing in me from the start. I will forever be grateful.
“To come to this club and get a chance to play is not easy. In the year I have been here I have seen players come and go without ever getting a chance to play. So I know how fortunate I am to be adding my name to that coveted list of Mathare United players. The aim now is not to make this a one-off thing.”
The Kakamega High School alumnus, who joined the club straight out of high school in 2019, got the chance in that one year to learn from David Messi Owino, one of the stars of the premier league and who now features for league leaders KCB FC.
Owino played four seasons with Mathare and Ogola is hoping to emulate the Kenyan international with his performances on the pitch.
“It’s not going to be easy I know that (earning playing opportunities) but I was on the sidelines when Messi (David Owino) was here and I know what it will take to be a regular like he was. The shoes left behind by him are immense but I know I can fill them if I work towards it,” he said.
The other players who earned their debuts for the Slumboys on Saturday were David Cheche Ochieng, Martin Werunga, Austin Ochieng, Danson Kago and Cersidy Okeyo.