Mike Olunga working on sharpening his boots

Newly signed Gor Mahia striker Mike Olunga is working on sharpening his finishing in front of goal. Olunga has been faulted for missing several chances. Lack of composure in front of goal may be a factor.

“Of course playing for a big team like Gor comes with its pressure, but I have managed to weather that pressure, now I need to work on my scoring touch,” said Olunga to supersport.com

He is currently the third leading scorer behind Ali Abondo who has scored 10 and Kagere who has found the back of the net four times. His best match was the season opener against Mathare where he scored twice.

“I have so far scored three, I know I could have scored more if I took the chances I have had, but as I said I am working on my final touch and I know I can only get better,” he added.

But Olunga is not just obsessed with scoring. Being a team player and playing according to the instructions of the technical bench is more important.

“My job is also to assist my team mates. I will be happy if I assist my team mates and eventually win the league, than become the top scorer and lose out on the league title.

Indeed Olunga has played well so far. He is a headache for defenders and they often have no choice but to drag him down resulting in free-kicks or penalties.

Olunga scored 9 goals while playing for Thika United last season and fancied himself scoring more this year.

“I always thrive under pressure and in my opinion, Gor will help me shine. I am sure if I was here last season and scored 10 goals, I would have been a regular in the national team,” said Olunga. I believe in myself, I believe I can do well and I will score many goals. Their playing style suits mine and I look forward to a great season. I am not putting myself under pressure to replace Danny (Sserunkuma) but I will do my best,” said Olunga in January.

The towering Olunga is one of the tallest players ever to play for Gor Mahia. Perhaps the tallest. He can be very useful in corner kicks, throw ins, dead ball situations. Coach Nuttall should work with him on this aspect of his game and perhaps even invite legend Peter Dawo to offer Olunga tips.

Once Olunga sharpens his aerial skills, coach Nuttall should work with wingers and full backs to deliver precise crosses that target Olunga when possible.

At age 21, Olunga still has plenty of opportunity to sharpen his skills if he chooses to work on his game. He can go places.

Frank Nuttall believes Olunga will eventually fire

Gor Mahia coach Frank Nuttall has thrown his weight behind towering Gor Mahia striker Mike Olunga. Though Olunga missed numerous opportunities in the DSTV shield match against Sofapaka and against CNaPs, Nuttall believes Olunga has been very useful to the team.

“The job of a striker is not only to score but to create opportunities for other players. I’m really impressed with Olunga’s focus of running through off the ball and support he offers to the team.

“I’m a believer the more chances a striker get the more experience they gain and they make some evaluation from that. I’m sure that’s what Olunga and other strikers are going,” Nuttall told Capital Sport.

Nuttall noted that Olunga is still inexperienced and will only grow in stature once he develops poise in front of goal.

“He has the ability to get in scoring positions and as well as that, he is young and fairly inexperienced and has played well. He is one of the players that we can look upon to in our squad selection,” the coach said to capital FM.

Olunga faces a tall order in trying to replace supernova Dan Sserunkuma who set an very high standard during the three years he played for Gor Mahia. Whenever he played, Sserunkuma was always the most efficient scorer in the entire league.

Olunga’s strength appears to be his ability to make life difficult for defenders when he makes charging runs into the box. He always draws multiple defenders and with the ball within his range, he is a nightmare for defenders often resulting in penalties. His knack for running onto long balls is reminiscent of the legendary Peter Dawo.

Former Gor Mahia coach and defender Sammy Omollo “Pamzo” noted that Olunga was very comfortable chasing long balls but appeared uneasy when the ball was played to his feet.

The good news for Olunga is that with the availability of Meddie Kagere starting this weekend, there will be less pressure on his broad shoulders. Playing under less pressure could be medicine Olunga needs finally gain confidence and poise. There is now work ahead for Nuttall to find ways that Olunga and Kagere can play together. Olunga draws defenders wherever he runs and could be useful decoy for Kagere.

And Olunga is very tall and could therefore be very useful in converting crosses into goals just like Dawo did in his heyday. And once again the man to work with him in this aspect of his game is Nuttall. Olunga is still young and can learn to put his height to use.  Both Walusimbi and Nigiziyimana are good crossers. If they can pinpoint Olunga the way Sammy Onyango used to find Dawo with pinpoint crosses and if Olunga can work on his aerial and heading skills then he could offer Gor Mahia more options in attack.