Gor Mahia legend: Harambee Stars snub working in Benson Omala’s favour

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FOOTBALL Gor Mahia legend: Harambee Stars snub working in Benson Omala’s favour

Joel Omotto 08:00 - 25.10.2023

The former Gor Mahia player and assistant coach feels being omitted from the Harambee Stars squad has fueled the fire in Benson Omala’s belly

Former Gor Mahia defender Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo believes Benson Omala is being spurred by his constant omissions from the national team by Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat.

Omala has not been selected for Kenya’s last three friendly matches despite topping the scoring charts in the FKF Premier League.

The Gor Mahia striker was not called to Kenya’s squad for September’s doubleheader against Qatar and South Sudan and was also omitted from the team that faced Russia last week, leading to uproar from a section of fans who feel his record warrants a place in the side.

Omala has, however, continued doing his talking on the pitch and was on target again when Gor Mahia beat Tusker 1-0 last weekend to take his tally to seven goals from as many games and Pamzo feels being overlooked has actually worked in the striker’s favour since he keeps proving his doubters wrong.

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“Omala is being spurred by not being called in the national team because he is great. If it was another player, he could have lost hope but Omala is fighting,” said Pamzo, a former Gor assistant coach.

“Inside him, he knowns that he deserves to be in the national team but every game, he is giving his best and I think he is an important player for Gor.”

Pamzo’s sentiments mirror those of Gor coach Jonathan McKinstry who believes the young striker does not need to prove much to anyone.

“Maybe I am the perfect coach to come and work with Benson. Ninety per cent it is him, only 10 per cent is me. But he fits into the way I want to play football perfectly,” McKinstry said on Sunday.

“Does he fit into the way other coaches want to play football? That is for them to decide. I know that had he been a Ugandan when I was the Uganda coach, he probably been in my squad but every coach gets to pick the players they want to pick. I am pleased that he plays for me and not another KPL team.”

Omala was last selected to the Harambee Stars squad for the four-nations tournament in June but did not play in either matches against Pakistan or Mauritius.

He finished last season second on the top scorer’s charts with a record-equaling 26 goals, and has started this campaign in brilliant fashion again, as he has three more than FC Talanta’s Erick Ombija while Geoffrey Onyango (Kariobangi Sharks), Moses Shumah (Kakamega Homeboyz) and Collins Neto (Muhoroni Youth) each have three.