Resurgent George Odhiambo Blackberry has capped a succesful comeback when he was voted Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Player of the Month Award for August.
Blackberry was KPL player of the year back in 2010 and his career looked very promising. None other than the legendary Joe Kadenge was full of praise for Blackberry after seeing him play for the national team as a second half substitute against Uganda in 2010.
He then went to Denmark to play for Randers FC but got very little playing time. The whole episode ruined his confidence. Subsequent stints in Finland, Armenia and Tanzania did little to restore his confidence. He would return to Kogalo in 2014 and it was under Frank Nuttall that his career begun its resurgence.
Since 2015, he has been playing as a withdrawn striker, operating on the flanks where he has become the best supplier for the club. This season he leads the club in assists. But he has also found the back of the net 10 times this season. So good has his performance been that he has been recalled to the national team
His displays for K’Ogalo in August saw assured wins over Nakumatt, Muhoroni Youth twice, Posta Rangers and came from behind to earn a crucial point against fierce rivals AFC Leopards.
Blackberry scored in two matches and provided three assists in the rest of the games hence putting himself in contention for the month’s gong. Gor Mahia created a clear path to the title in August with Blackberry combining with imports Tuyisenge and Meddie Kagere to take center stage.
Having garnered 18 votes, he edged teammate Jacques Tuyisenge by a single vote in a winner-takes-it-all affair while the third contestant Umaru Kasumba of Sofapaka collected thirteen votes.
The award comes with a 49 Inch LG television and KSh100,000 to feted players as well as KSh50,000 for the rest of the squad. Blackberry became Kogalo’s 2nd player to win it in 2017 following previous triumph by midfielder Ernest Wendo who in May.
“I’m glad to be back to my best. A lot had been said by people who don’t really know everything that happened to me but i decided to be patient and work my way back. My focus now is to get even better and raise the levels. In football, a lot can happen and i already have offers from three clubs but patience is a virtue and i cannot rush into anything.” a jubilant Odhiambo said
Blackberry’s contract is ending at the end of the season. He says he has received offers from other clubs but is letting his agent handle the issues.