Alphonce Omija: 5 essential facts you probably didn't know about the Harambee Stars defender

Alphonce Omija: 5 essential facts you probably didn't know about the Harambee Stars defender

Festus Chuma 13:43 - 12.06.2024

Alphonce Omija impressed in a World Cup qualifier, highlighting his journey from Nairobi's Korogocho to international football acclaim.

Alphonce Omija made headlines on Tuesday, June 1 with his impressive performance in a goalless draw against Ivory Coast during a World Cup qualifier at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe, Malawi.

The 21-year-old central defender captivated football fans on his national team debut with his robust defending and poised ball-handling successfully pocketing Brighton & Hove Albion winger Kofi Adingra.

Here are five key things you need to know about this promising Kenyan defender.

1. Early foundations at Gor Mahia and Kariobangi Sharks

Omija’s football journey kicked off in Nairobi's bustling streets of Korogocho where his potential first began to sprout.

Alphonce Omija

His skills were honed at the esteemed Gor Mahia Youth system where he played alongside other budding talents like Geoffrey Ojung’a and Lloyd Kavuchi.

However, it was at Kariobangi Sharks where his capabilities truly began to shine setting him on the path to international recognition.

2. Standout traits and style of play

Known for his height and prowess on the ball, Omija stands out as a ball-playing defender.

His time with the Sharks sharpened his ability to read the game and execute clean tackles, skills that have become his trademark at Dhofar.

This unique skill set not only makes him invaluable on the pitch but has also attracted the attention of scouts from Europe, particularly from Turkey and Sweden.

3. Impact at Dhofar and rising transfer value

Since joining Dhofar, Omija has become a key player, contributing significantly both defensively and offensively.

Midway through the season, his performances helped Dhofar secure a competitive league position.

His versatility and leadership have boosted his transfer value to an impressive Sh40 million, according to Transfermarket.

4. International career and role models

Omija made his debut for the Kenya national team in a World Cup qualifier against Ivory Coast on June 11, 2024, delivering a standout performance.

His football idols include world-class defenders like Kalidou Koulibaly, whose style and discipline he seeks to emulate.

Omija's rise through the national ranks—from the U17 to the senior team—highlights his growing stature in international football.

5. Personal background and aspirations

Born on October 9, 2002, in Nairobi, Omija attended St. John's Catholic School and Baba Dogo Secondary School.

His educational background and life experiences in Nairobi's challenging neighborhoods have grounded him and fueled his ambition to succeed on the global stage.

Despite the burgeoning interest from European clubs, Omija remains focused on his current role at Dhofar, aiming to leave a lasting impact.

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