Dennis Oliech attended a training session with Gor Mahia on Friday. This after the club requested that he attend a session in order to allow coach Oktay to assess his fitness
Additional reporting from Capital FM
Harambee Stars legend Dennis Oliech is only a signature away from officially joining record Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia and the forward says in becoming K’Ogalo’s new acquisition, he will be fulfilling his late mother’s wish.
Oliech trained for the first time with Gor on Friday morning putting to rest speculation on whether or not the striker would be joining the side and he says it is only a matter of finalizing the paperwork and he will be officially don the green and white.
“My mother always wanted me to play for Gor Mahia and she told me before I retire officially from football, I have to play for this club. My father as well wished for me to play for Gor and since it was their dream and wish, I have to fulfil it,” Oliech revealed in an exclusive interview with Capital Sport.
He added; “I am pleased that this is finally happening just pending the final bit of paperwork and this is my gift to them. The first goal will be dedicated to them.”
Oliech was extremely close with his late mother Mary Auma who passed on in July after a battle bravely borne with cancer and the 33-year old says it gives him extreme pleasure to be fulfilling her biggest wish and joining the 17-time champions.
“It is my first day today so I have to take some time and get to know the players and the coaches as well. For me, it is a step at a time and within a week, I know I will have picked momentum and be at a good place,” the striker said.
The forward further states that what further prompted him to sign for Gor and not any other club is that their playing style suited him and he knows he is at a place where he can score as many goals as he targets.
“I decided to come to Gor further not because it’s a big club or because of money. I looked at the team and I knew I could have success because if you look at the midfielders like Berry ((George Odhiambo) and Hum (Humphrey Mieno), they are players who know me and know how I play and they can feed me balls,”
“You can be in a club as a good striker but without a good midfield, you can’t achieve much. For me at Gor, this is not an issue,” Oliech stated.
Harambee Stars legend Dennis Oliech after his first training session with Gor Mahia at the Camp Toyoyo Ground on December 28, 2018.
Oliech who at some point this year trained with South African top tier side Free State Stars with a view to sign has been out of club football for the last two years, his last professional football club being Dubai Sports Club where he left early 2016.
The former FC Nantes, Auxerre and Ajaccio forward believes he is not way far from fitness and will be back to his best in a matter of time.
“I have been working on my fitness, playing tournaments back in the hood and I have also been doing gym work. For me, it is just a matter of time, probably three or four days and I will be clicking in the right direction,” he added.
His imminent arrival has sprouted excitement amongst not only the players but head coach Hassan Oktay who sees him as a brilliant addition to the side as they seek to achieve bigger things in the new season.
“I am looking forward to have him in the team and I have looked at him in training today and talked to him as well and I know he will be a huge plus for us. It is also good for the young players to have a player like him in the team because there is so much they can learn from Dennis,” The Cypriot coach said.
Harambee Stars legend Dennis Oliech with defender Wellington Ochieng after his first training session with Gor Mahia at the Camp Toyoyo Ground on December 28, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu
Kajole as his peers from his Dagoretti hood know him as has already stated his targets for the new season and has pegged an ambitious target of netting at least 25 goals this season, a tally that would be a record in the new era of the KPL.
“I want to score 30 goals this season; at worse, maybe 25. I know I can do it. Currently my focus is on Gor Mahia and helping the club go as far as possible in the Confederations Cup as well as defending the KPL title,” noted the forward.
As much as there is excitement with his return to playing top flight football, he knows there will be pressure on his shoulders to deliver and he says this will be a motivation for him to work harder and achieve bigger targets with the club.
“For me, this is some big pressure because people will expect me to score every time. I have to work hard because if I don’t score, people will start saying I would rather have just stayed retired instead of coming back to play,” he noted.
The Saturday tie against Kariobangi Sharks might be too early for Oliech to come on board, but he might be in line for his debut next Wednesday when Gor host Chemelil Sugar in Machakos.
Gor Mahia CEO Omondi Aduda is dismissing reports that Humphrey Mieno is headed to Ethiopia.
“We have not been approached nor asked on the availability of Mieno. No team has written to us to enquire anything in regards to our players and the reason I say those are just rumors and not news,” he said to goal.com