Gor Mahia's David Owino: Dad behind my success

He was nicknamed ‘Calabar’ after making minced meat off Nigerian wingers when Kenya played the Super Eagles in Calabar during a World Cup qualifier

Until he moved to Gor Mahia, David Owino was an unknown figure. Then playing for Naivasha-based side Karuturi Sports, Owino’s star shone when he moved to Gor Mahia. Then, a little spot light would shine on him casually when given the opportunity to play.

Then Gor Mahia coach Zdravko Logarusic never gave him enough time to play, citing his short height, as Goal learns. Also, Goal can reveal that at one point, Logarusic had plotted to axe him from the team but it took the intervention of Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier to halt the decision.

The Croat would then be ‘forced’ to play Owino after his splendid performance for Kenya in the regional Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Uganda last year. Many fans questioned why Owino, nicknamed 'Angoloma' from his youth days in Nakuru, would get a full game with the national team but warm the bench for his club Gor Mahia.

His performance continued to rise and every time he was given a starting role, he would play his whole heart out and he was a darling among K’Ogalo faithful. He was nicknamed ‘Calabar’ after making minced meat off Nigerian wingers when Kenya played the Super Eagles in Calabar during a World Cup qualifier.

One particular victim of his no nonsense, tactical and disciplined defense was the then Chelsea winger Victor Moses, now loaned to Liverpool. After the match, Kenya keeper Arnold Origi posted on his facebook page “…Kenya is gifted with two top class defenders; David Owino and David 'Cheche' Ochieng,….”.

Owino’s rise to the top has been steadfast and his form in the last five matches for both club and country has been tremendous. A laudable feat for any defender, Owino has scored in all of the last three matches he has played for club and country.

‘Angoloma’ rescued a point for Gor Mahia against rivals AFC Leopards, went on to score the thunderous contentious goal against Sony before wrapping it up with the lone goal that sunk Namibia in Nairobi on Sunday.

“This has been great success for me and personally I feel great. I always knew that at one point, things would work well and I will be a great footballer. All this can be attributed to hard work and discipline. As a footballer, you always have to keep your eyes on your destiny and work towards it.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today were it not for my dad John Odhiambo. He has been an inspirational figure in my life and he has always encouraged me through my highs and lows. I would particularly like to dedicate the goal I scored against Namibia to him."

He notes that he would want to see himself plying his trade in Europe and one day play in the lucrative leagues like the EPL, Bundesliga, Serie A or even the La Liga.

“I want to work hard and be at my best then hope God opens doors to play in Europe. It will be my joy. Our Captain Wanyama has opened the doors for us to play in the EPL and I have faith that one day I will play in the Elite European leagues,” adds the defender.

Owino started off as a youth player for Nakuru All Stars Academy in 2004 which was then called St. Josephs academy. He played for the All Stars senior side until 2008 when he moved to Karuturi, playing up to 2011 when he signed for Gor Mahia.