25 Jan 17

Former Gor Mahia striker Michael Olunga will become the first Kenyan to play for a top tier Chinese side. He is set to leave Swedish top tier side IF Djugardens to join Chinese side Guizhou Zhicheng.

His local agent Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee, the former Kenya national team coach, confirmed to the Standard that the 22-year-old has joined the Chinese Super League side.

“It is a done deal, but full details will come later,” Mulee said to the Standard.

Reports suggest that the Chinese side paid Ksh 450 million. Which means IF Djugardens have made a staggering profit as they paid only Ksh 16.7 million to sign Olunga.

As Olunga was on loan at Gor Mahia, it is unlikely that any of that money will come to the club. IF Djugardens also entertained offers for Olunga from Russian giants CSKA Moscow.

Guizhou Zhicheng have two other Africans on theior suad: Yves Ekwalla of Cameroun and Ali Ghazal of Egypt. The Chinese league is on the rise and has been able to attract top tier talent like Carlos Tevez of Argentina and Jon Mikel Obi.

Gor Mahia will play Kenyan Premier League side Thika United in a friendly match set for Saturday, January 28 at Camp Toyoyo ground starting 3:00pm. This according to goal.com

The DSTV Super cup match against Tusker tha twas slated for this Sunday has been postponed and will be re-scheduled when 2017 KPL fixtures are released.
“Yes, the Dstv Super Cup match will not be played on Sunday because SuperSport wants to make it closer to league kick-off. They will now set a date after seeing the league fixtures so as to play the match a week earlier.” said Ronald Ngala to goal.com.

Category: News

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  • jathur gi ji says:

    Go make money boy while your legs still allow you, it is a short life career. But who, may I ask, benefits from the moneylink? Sad to hear that Kogalo is nowhere in this chain. Onge wach, now you know.

    Camp Toyoyo? Such a big match after such a long break? We need a place where we can all go and watch our team, why camp Toyoyo? And doesn’t the team need some money? I ask again why camp Toyoyo?

  • Jamigori says:

    Mike, go and make money.

    On friendly, Camp Toyoyo is a very small stadium with no sitting terrace. The match could have been slated for Nyayo Stadium.

  • musymo says:

    I have read very many fans vilifying Olunga for going to China. I fail to understand since in as much ashe went pro to further his career but we all know money is the number 1 consideration. In China, I think he can make the money, it would have taken 6 years or so to make in Sweden, in 1 year or so. So let the the ones who know how Olunga should live his life go on and criticize, but my personal opinion is go make the mullah Jatugo. @Jasego, why must this friendly be played at Camp Toyoyo. Even if it was planned as a normal training session, we understand. But we are thirsty and you would have brought it somewhere more convenient to gain more fans. I will definitely be there but many fans willing to attend if the match is at Nyayo, would forego the match if it is at Toyoyo!!

    • Jasego says:

      Musymo Ze Maria wants closed door sessions for pre-season training and even that friendly should not be open for fans only that camp toyoyo might be tricky to secure hence the idea of charging attending fans something small like 100 instead of risking forced entry

  • bob says:

    Koro ching chong to ongeyo opira mane!!!!! He should have gone to Europe for either Galatasaray or CSKA Moscow who were after him, the is money there as well. We would have liked to watch him take on the best in UEFA Champions League as well as marketing Kenyans players too

    • Dan Original says:

      @Bob, How many former players do you meet everyday in the country begging for bus fare or just upkeep money. Do you want Olunga to fall in that group? Why is Osar and Tevez in China and Costa, Rooney , Ibra might follow suit. At his age Olunga can still play in China then go to Galatasaray after 3 years. Even Asomoah Gyan went to Middle East and is the highest paid player there. Money should matter a lot to a player when the time to be on stage is such a short time, coupled with uncertainties like injuries and/or loss of form

  • Jakoyo says:

    Los pesa bro olunga ! Europe is just a name , China is where the money is .

  • Jasego says:

    Olunga is still young so I think for career progression he should have joined Galatasaray or CSKA Moscow that are big clubs with regular Champions League & Uefa League presence.China people go to retire and make money after stellar careers…Think of all those guys there from Drogba,Etoo,Tevez,Mikel etc how old are they and when have they gone to China?What will be his resale value at say 25 years and which big team worth note will buy a player from chinku?That’s boy is pure talent but agents will always rush for money hence why good players need professional managers who consider everything other than the famous “it is our time to eat philosophy”

    • Dan Original says:

      @Jasego, if a Chinese company asked you to go to China to work for like 10 times what you are getting now what would you do? As much as we would like to see or players in the Champs league I would not blame Olunga. From what I know of him he knows what he is doing. What if he is seeing how to lift the life of his siblings and family?

      • Jasego says:

        Dan I wish him well but picture this scenario too…If at 25 and a young graduate of accounts I decide to go do SME banking in Asego Kanyada my home where retirees in their late 50’s and 60 are then at 32 I come back to Nairobi to look for employment at KCB or Stanchart bank what would be my prospects?

        • musymo says:

          @Jasego, his resale value will mean for nothing because by the time he is 25 as you say, he shall have made enough money to care less. He will not be wanting to join a team in Europe but to invest and enjoy his wealth!! At the end of the day it is money not Champions League football of a fancy league that should matter. You talk from a footballing perspective, its very ideal and I understand. But most of us, including Olunga it seems considered the economic perspective first like all realists would!!

  • Go play soccer and make money wuod Nyar Uyoma.

    The sooner we realize that China is the future of soccer the better. I pity those talking from a position of ignorance because the Chinese super league has grown in quality over the years and i believe there is no league in Africa better than it. Their focus is on beating Europe and they will.

    Olunga being a pioneer from this region should be congratulated. Should Olunga shine, we are likely to have many more Kenyan players going there than we would have had in Europe. Instead of our players going to 3rd division teams in Scandinavia, it’s better for them to make the millions in China and build their future.

    All the best Micah.

  • bob says:

    @jasego, you spoke like a million. Career progression and making money are two sides of the same coin. What if he fails flat in china? There is no guarantee that he is going to succeed. You cant start to built a house from the roof top.

    • musymo says:

      @bob, if your main thrust is him not succeeding, there is no guarantee he would have succeeded at Galatasaray or CSKA where you want him to go either. So if not succeeding is the constant, the variable is that China offers more money and therefore the best case scenario!!

  • bob says:

    @musymo I agree with some part of your sentiment; the economy side of it, nevertheless am looking at it on a wider perspective in regards to how probably he would have opened an opportunity to some Kenyans players in Europe, considering how our players do struggle to make it through in the paid ranks…. Am of the opinion that if he would have gone to Gala or CSKA and become a hit there, some of those coaches would change their perceptions about Kenyans players.

  • A person says:

    We are glad that he is going for the money. I hope he will start his investment plans this early. All the money he is going to earn will not count if he is not organized. So young man, can you put your life in order now. Many players have earned so much but ended up drinking and wasting the money on yellow yellow flings. Anyway all the best. I am concerned though coz China is more of retirees in football.

  • Jamigori says:

    This will be the time for Mike to get the best financial advisors and he will go places regarding investments. Allocate some funds in the real estate, stock market, fixed income securities such as the government treasury bonds, alternative investment vehicles etc.

    Mike should plan early for a rainy season.

    On football, he can still go to Europe if bigger teams come calling. He is still young.

  • Jaupanda says:

    Going by what is trending as far as Chinese Football is concerned, I think that they are slowly but surely building their own power house. With the kind of footballers heading there, it may not be as lower league as people may think. My admission is that we do not know so much about Chinese soccer. We do not see them in the media as much as we do the rest. That in itself challenges our own world view. A few times we have seen them participate in World Cup where as we have never qualified even once. I may remember which year it was in the world cup but I can recall the reflexes of their Goal keeper. he was very athletic. I am not defending it as good and excellent, but challenging myself to probably take a keener look. To borrow a leaf from USA, they have not been known to be strong in Soccer but it is one the countries that give people a lot of difficulties on the pitch even in the Americas. The big leagues of Europe within my opinion are made stronger because of the foreign influx of players. If it will take Olunga to be a pioneer from Kenya to build the Chinese league and open doors for many other Kenyans while still making money, so be it.What shall it profit a man to work so hard and at the end of the day does not put on the table? May I also put it in another way Does our screaming and shouting for a man chasing a round colored object in a Stadium with the voices roaring like a choir of bees come rain come sunshine put a glass of water: our reactions for what they are remain at that. In fact it is the spur of the moment at its best. I support.

  • ODUOR12 says:

    My take on Olunga’s move to China. Good move since it’s a high profile league and am sure now the top European Clubs have taken note and will still make him better offers so long as he shines as am sure he will. There is nothing like paving way for other Kenyans WHAT COUNTS IS BOTH TALENT AND BIDII MIND STANDARDS ARE HIGH IN EUROPE EVEN NOW IN CHINA. Gor Mahia will earn 1 years portion of i think Olunga’s 3 year development fee. GM got something we he moved to Sweden. Tusker & Thika will also earn 1 year each. Sadly Olunga wanted to join GM straight from high school but hakuwa connected enough sasa who has lost out GM! My 2 cents last season we were misled to believe twas Boni against FN only for it to turn out that Omusinga was “being given hell by FN”. Hope the tiff between Ottamax and Ze Maria is not a smoke screen again.

    • ODUOR12 says:

      Also smiling all the way to the bank must be one Ghost Mulee/Liberty Academy yet GM youth team has no continuity or progress to senior team.I think after one turns 23 development fees no longer apply.But watch this space Olunga will be back in europe with a big club.He has enough talent and works hard.Now back to Gm,surely why sign the former Mathare United GK3 to come and be GK3 at GM. Why cant GK3 at GM be reserved for the U20 keeper. Also our U20 top scorer Thiongo decamped to Zetech. Any U20 team worth their salt must have players knocking on the door of the senior team. Remember Marcelo but with K’galo “Kujuana Ndio Mwendo”. Our U20 can be goldmine for the club but only if we adopt structures.

      • fred odhiambo says:

        @oduor12….the tiff between ze Maria and ottomax is over.from what I saw at Gor training today,Willis Ochieng was the goalkeeper trainer.not sure how many of us remember him?he was a chemilil keeper…turned pro and was lately goalkeeper trainer for zoo kericho.
        Having said that,now let’s hear it now from those opposed to those who talk about what goes on in training! !

  • Is it not in CSKA Moscow and any other Russian club where the constant ‘monkey’ rants are heard. At that age, Olunga is not yet mature enough to withstand racial abuses in Russia. I can tell you, the abuse even goes physical.
    Galatassaray would have been a better bet for career progression but he has made up his mind. Every choice has consequences. The pro in this case is money. The con is career development.

    • Jaupanda says:

      @jambita Tiny
      You have brought about a very important aspect of racial abuse that i think may have partly influenced his decision. It is very difficult to play when people are throwing all sorts of words at you. We have even seen it here locally. When we make gestures at players whom feel should be substituted and they can see it, They immediately collapse from playing however hard they try. I trust Olunga’s decision. He could still end in Europe as someone pointed out.

  • odhis muga says:

    los pesa kapodi ingima tho luro

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  • Nyalik says:

    Olunga has made a wise move financially. However, China soccer is short lived. Football in China is a personal passion of the president and therefore political in some aspects. If the current soccer mad, president Xi Jin Pinng were to leave office I doubt the game in China would continue in the current trajectory. So Olunga pluck the Yuan’s and run