It’s a must to return to August 2013 when the Western Stima U19 facet gained the Kenyan Premier League U19 Champions in Ruaraka to hint among the greatest skills that the nation ever produced.
The Hesbon Nyabinge have been a formidable facet with most of his gamers having represented the Kenya U20 staff in tournaments with the younger Tusker staff, led by Anthony Mwangi, having the present Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga. Whereas Stima ran 4-0 winners within the day, it was the much less hyped gamers like Eric Ouma who’ve since gone to make regular strides within the nation’s soccer.
Born in September 1996, Ouma spent most of his early lives in Kibra Slums-Kenya; one of many largest casual settlements in Africa. Whereas he began enjoying at a young age, it was at Kakamega Excessive Faculty that most individuals took discover of his expertise.
“Kakamega did so much for me to be sincere. Most of the coaches I do know noticed me whereas representing the varsity however I began soccer earlier than I got here right here,” Ouma opined to Futaa.
However unknown to many, Ouma’s path may need taken a unique course as he had obtained a calling letter to Dagoretti Excessive Faculty. Whereas the varsity has been a soccer powerhouse too within the nation, Ouma says that it’s the present Nairobi Metropolis Stars coach who suggested him to maneuver to Kakamega who had trials with the profitable gamers incomes schooling scholarships.
“I used to be to affix Dago (Dagoretti Excessive Faculty) however Muyoti satisfied me to maneuver to Kakamega. Muyoti instructed me in regards to the trials and when he had every thing in place, it was my father who gave me the transport cash to Kakamega. I did my greatest and so they absorbed me. I do not understand how my path would have been if I used to be to affix Dagoretti however I believe it was the suitable resolution to maneuver to Kakamega,” he provides.
Kakamega had produced among the huge names within the nation and as an aspiring footballer, it was a possibility he was by no means going to let go. He says of how he was up in opposition to among the greatest skills within the nation and was satisfied he was among the many greatest when he made the minimize.
“At Kakamega, we believed we have been the perfect as a result of it was one thing instilled in us. You have been going to coach with among the greatest younger skills within the nation and that improves you as a participant. It was basis for my soccer and I am endlessly indebted.”
Whereas they made inroads within the college video games, it was the Kenyan Secondary Faculty Ball Video games in 2015 that positioned Ouma’s teammates within the nationwide limelight. Developing in opposition to an equally good Kisumu Day at a completely packed Bukhungu Stadium, they have been to emerge Champions.
Most of Ouma’s teammates walked straight to Kenyan Premier League groups after ending college in 2015. Whereas the left-back joined Kenyan giants Gor Mahia, defender Joseph Okumu and midfielder Apollo Otieno walked straight into the Chemelil Sugar beginning staff.
At Gor he needed to be an understudy of Rwandese Abouba Sibomana however as soon as he bought his probability below Brazilian Marcelo Zi Maria, he did not look again.
“Breaking into the Gor Mahia staff was by no means going to be simple. I keep in mind folks telling me that shifting to Gor was a nasty transfer since I wasn’t assured of my place however that was the problem I needed. I needed to be up in opposition to the perfect and I used to be glad about how every thing went.
“It was my first season within the high flight and it was difficult as a result of I used to be not a younger boy however a participant who carried the hopes of a correct fanbase. Any slight mistake and you will be served for dinner,” he provides.
Ouma was to go away Gor in 2016 for Georgian membership Kolkheti Poti, one other transfer that was questioned by so many individuals, with the nationwide staff coach then Stanley Okumbi stating that he wasn’t going to present name as much as gamers who featured in ‘non-competitive league’, it was a problem Ouma took at coronary heart.
Stints with KS Kastrioti got here later a stint he mentioned wasn’t the perfect since he suffered an harm.”My European journey did not begin as I had anticipated as a result of I used to be coming into a brand new setting for the primary time with out being round my household.
“It was powerful extra so after I moved to Tirana and solely to be shipped to Kastrioti. I needed to look into myself and ask questions. It was a tricky interval however I used to be satisfied every day that I’d make it,” Ouma opines.
A breakthrough got here in 2018 when he moved to the Swedish decrease facet IF Vasalunds, a transfer he says open doorways for him.
“I knew right away after I arrived in Stockholm for the primary time that it was the chance I used to be ready for. There are loads of groups in Stockholm and I had an concept that many scouts commonly visited the decrease groups to identify skills to ship to the highest flight and I took that critically.
‘I labored like I by no means labored earlier than and when my transfer to AIK got here in 2020, I used to be the happiest being round. It was laborious work rewarded and will t disguise my pleasure. Vasalund gave me the setting to thrive and I am glad that I did they have been proud of my outing with them too.”
The nationwide staff for Ouma has been one thing he dreamt of ever since he stepped into Kakamega Excessive Faculty. He says the urge of sporting the Kenyan colours is one thing that spured them since they’d the nationwide staff coaches of their college.
“I’ve to thank Nyabinge (Hesbon) for being the place I’m. He performed an enormous function in my first call-up to the U20 (Kenya) staff. He was a part of the teaching staff and I wish to imagine I did not disappoint him after I was known as upon to defend the colors of my nation. He actually laid the blueprint for my rise to the senior nationwide staff,” he says.
Of all of the opponents he has been up in opposition to with Harambee Stars, Ouma says Manchester Metropolis’s Riyad Mahrez was the man who gave him nightmares adopted by Liverpool winger Mohammed Salah however he says he was by no means intimidated by any.
“I do know lots of people have talked about my duel with Salah within the qualifiers as he did not do a lot however then once more perhaps he wasn’t in rhythm with the staff. I watch him with Liverpool and the way he tears opponents aside and you don’t have any possibility however to be in awe. I am glad I did nicely in opposition to him not too long ago however due to the whole staff for doing their work nicely too.
“Of the gamers who’ve troubled me, Mahrez is up there. It was on the African Cup of Nations and everybody noticed what he did within the event. He is an effective participant and he had correct gamers round him to go with his efforts. The Senegal staff had correct opponents too. We misplaced the video games however I had picked loads of classes which have helped me in my soccer.”
Ouma finishes by stating that the perfect is but to return from him as he goals to assist AIK qualify for Europe and see Stars be an everyday staff in worldwide tournaments.