Gor’s ‘Blackberry’ toasts to August rollercoster
Inventive Gor Mahia midfielder George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo capped his gradual career resurgence by clinching the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Player of the Month Award for August.
The 24 year-old who lost hue in Denmark after prematurely going professional in 2011 also caught national team selectors’ eyes and earned a well-deserved call up, ending a five-year hiatus from Harambee Stars.
His humongous displays for K’Ogalo in that month saw Kenya’s most decorated club emasculate Nakumatt, Muhoroni Youth twice, Posta Rangers and came from behind to earn a crucial point against fierce rivals AFC Leopards.
Blackberry crucially 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 three players made it to the final shortlist from a wider nominee’s list that also had Sony Sugar’s Amos Asembeka, Yemi Mwana, Chispinus Oduor and Godfrey Walusimbi.
The gong, which is co-sponsored by betting firm Sportesa and South Korean manufactures LG Electronics, yields 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.
Overall, Blackberry is the 5th recipient of the gong this year after Nzoia Sugar’s Brian Otieno (March), Stephen Waruru of Ulinzi Stars (April), Ernest Wendo of Gor Mahia (May) and Zoo FC’s Michael Madoya (June/July).
“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 after receiving the gong.
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