I want to repay Mamelodi Sundowns for their faith in me, says Denis Onyango

Onyango has spoken about his initial struggles at Masandawana and who he credits for his rise, to be regarded as one of the continent's best

Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango believes that his initial loan spells after joining Sundowns was the wake-up call he needed to become the goalkeeper he is today.

The Uganda international is regarded as arguably the best goalkeeper on the African continent, and is a permanent fixture in coach Pitso Mosimane’s side. But it hasn’t always been that easy for Onyango, who on first joining the Brazilians faced stern competition from the likes of Wayne Sandilands and Calvin Marlin, and in later years Zambian Kennedy Mwenee.

However, after returning from a loan spell at Bidvest Wits, the 32-year-old would eventually go on to be given the nod, a decision that the Sundowns technical team would not live to regret as Onyango made the No.1 jersey his own.

“Loans have a way of showing you the bigger picture. Of waking you from a slumber if you were not serious,” the 2016 African-Based Player of the Year told the New Age.

“Look at Percy Tau. One loan move and he was reminded that Sundowns is the best. He is now back and he’s the best in the league. Harry Kane in England too went through the loan process. Now he is among the best in Europe,” Onyango explained.

Meanwhile, Onyango has paid homage to three coaches who have had an influence on his career.

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“The work and patience that Micho (Milutin Sredojevic), Pitso and Gavin (Hunt) showed me resulted in me being the African player of the year and becoming the first player from Uganda to win the Champions League,” he said.

Onyango further states that he hopes to repay Sundowns for keeping faith in him despite seeing limited game time during his early days at the club.

“Pitso signed me after watching me for only one game. I had to repay him. Now I want to repay Sundowns for the two years that I was getting paid, but only played one match. I have won five trophies, but there are three I really want, the league, the Champions League and MTN8,” he expressed.