Courtesy of michezoafrika.com
Former Gor Mahia skipper Julius “Awilo” Owino was shell shocked on Monday evening after learning that he had been axed from the squad. Owino says he heard the news through the media and so far he has not received any communication.
A nagging injury kept him out of football last season and after recovering late last season, he was hoping he will slowly regain his form with a club he has played for since 2002-2003 season.
“I joined Gor Mahia during the 2002-2003 season from Utalii. Many clubs have over the years expressed their interest in my services but I chose to stick here because of the passion I have for this club”
Owino dutifully attended the Gor Mahia training on Tuesday hoping to get an official communication.
“I have so far been here waiting for information but no one has told me anything. I expect the bad news but I want this officially communicated”
Asked on what his next move would be Owino said,
“I don’t even know. I did not expect this but I leave it to God to guide me through. Am sure He has great plans for me”
In a past appearance at a Churchill Live show after the 2010 season, when Gor Mahia had just completed a thrilling season, long serving Gor Mahia defender Julius Awilo Owino was asked if he could switch if offered a huge package by Sofapaka. His response then was not just negative, the player’s response showed his love for the club and unwavering commitment too.
However, on Monday 9 January, the defender’s name appeared among the players dropped from the team in a twist that very few had expected, effectively ending his colourful stay with the 12 time champions.
In an emotional interview with futaa.com, the former Kenyan international declared his love for the club but was at a loss over how the whole situation was carried out. Despite the development, however, he vowed to give all loyalty to the club as an appreciation of what the club has enabled him achieve in his career.
-Everything in life has an end, and always we say change is inevitable. Am fine with being dropped from the team because I know the management has to work with a plan. However, the way this whole issue was conducted leaves a lot to be desired.
-I have given many sacrifices for this team, I have been there for Gor during difficult times…rejecting big offers for the team I will always be there for. I have a feeling they should have looked at where we have come from before making these decisions.
The born again defender says as early as last season he had seen this coming and was prepared for everything but still gave his all for the team and wishes the club all the best in the coming season.
-Through my prayers I had seen this coming last season when I was down injured, but I am a professional, I still gave my all to the team and the technical bench and even in the coming season I know it will be hard for them in the continental and domestic assignments but I wish them all the best. Where I can support emotionally or materially I will do, he said.
Awilo also said he will always be there for Gor Mahia in good and bad times since the team has enabled him go far as a footballer, top of which he says was featuring for the national team.
-I have represented my country loyally and with a lot of pride but not for a moment did I forget that it is through Gor Mahia that I found my way to the national team, he added.
Years of service
Referring to Awilo as a long serving defender might not just hold the relevant importance, but this is a player who has dedicated a decade of his life not just as a Gor Mahia player but also captain after moving from Utalii FC.
The story of Julius Owino begs the question: Is this the way the career ends for such a veteran; a defender with 19 caps for his country and two goals?