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OSANJO: Ace Dennis ‘The Menace’ Oliech the comeback kid

Monday February 11 2019

Gor Mahia's Dennis Oliech celebrates his goal

Gor Mahia's Dennis Oliech celebrates his goal with teammate Jacques Tuyisenge against Zamalek FC during their Caf Confederation Cup Group D match on February 3, 2019 at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

TOM OSANJO
By TOM OSANJO
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It is only a man or woman for that matter who has been down and out but rose again who can really understand where Oliech is coming from.

Losing a fortune, fair weather friends taking off and losing your mum are all calamities that can destroy even the strongest of men.

But Oliech has shown an enduring resilience that has seen him rise again to take his rightful place as one of the best players currently in the country.

For those who doubted Oliech's decision to return to the pitch, for those who said he was too old to perform, for those who said it was just a marketing gimmick to bring him back, I do believe you are now swallowing humble pie.

If you watched Oliech in action against Zamalek at the Moi international Sports Centre, you will agree with me that he actually never lost his touch.

He is still the classy striker who took Kenya to the Africa Cup of Nations, who won the Cecafa Senior Challenge with Harambee Stars.

Returning to play in the Kenyan Premier League must have been one of the most difficult decisions Oliech must have been faced with.

For a player who at 18 was already touted among the ten best in the world alongside England and Manchester United legendary Wayne Rooney, a player who refused a Sh300 million offer to change his citizenship to Qatar and becoming the first Kenyan to play in France, making a return to KPL where he played for Mathare United was never expected.

But it took guts to sign for Gor Mahia, a club where so much is expected of its players.

I am sure he was asking himself, what if I do not perform, what will Kenyans say of me?

But in just the six games Oliech has played, he has already proved himself. The goal against Zamalek was an icing on the cake.

But beyond that, there is so much to learn from Oliech’s return especially for Kenyan footballers, sportsmen and ordinary citizens. The lesson is, never give up, there is always a second chance.

We have so many players, gifted in talent but who cut their careers short due to some reasons beyond their control.

Most of them are wallowing in poverty, some are frustrated but Oliech has now shown them the way, give your careers a second chance.

With more playing time, I am seeing Oliech possibly scoring his target of 28 goals for Gor Mahia this season that will probably make him the highest scorer in the league beating Maurice Ochieng ‘Sonyi’s’ record of 26.

Already, there is debate on whether Oliech should be included in the squad for the African Cup of Nations in June in Egypt and I say, barring any injuries, we have no better leader for Harambee Stars for the Egypt tour than Dennis “The Menace” Oliech.

I rest my case. Carry on Kajole, score those goals for K'Ogalo. You were always destined to wear the green jersey for the Husband of Teams.

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