Ovella Ochieng returns to South African side for pre-season training despite release reports

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STARS ABROAD Ovella Ochieng returns to South African side for pre-season training despite release reports

Festus Chuma 19:30 - 03.07.2023

Richards Bay's star striker shows dedication and commitment amidst uncertainty.

Kenya international Ovella Ochieng has made a sensational return to his South Africa Premier Soccer League side Richards Bay dispelling rumors linking him with a move away from the club.

The Natal-Rich Boyz welcomed back the prolific striker as he reported for pre-season training, silencing speculation that had swirled around his future in recent weeks.

The saga surrounding Ovella's potential departure began in June when Soccer Laduma reported that the club had released him along with Luvuyo Memela, a recent acquisition from AmaZulu FC.

The news had shocked fans and pundits alike, raising questions about the team's plans for the upcoming season.

Ovella, hailing from the Botswana Premier League outfit Township Rollers, had joined Richards Bay in December 2022, bringing with him a wealth of experience from his time abroad.

His stints in Sweden with Vassalund between 2018 and 2021 showcased his skills and earned him recognition as a talented forward.

Subsequently, he ventured back to South Africa and signed with Marumo Gallants in 2021, briefly gracing the PSL before returning to Township Rollers.

Richards Bay started the 2022 Premiership season on a high note, securing the No. 2 spot on the standings, a feat that surprised many.

However, the team's fortunes took a downturn after the break for the 2022 World Cup, and they struggled to maintain their initial form, slipping down the league table.

Tragedy struck the club in February when they mourned the untimely death of their inspirational captain, Sphamandla 'Spepe' Mtolo.

His absence left a void in the team, as he had been a pillar of strength during their promotion-winning campaign.

To address the team's slump, Richards Bay promoted Manousakis from co-coach to head coach, hoping the change in leadership would inspire a revival.

The decision failed to yield the desired results, and the team hovered perilously close to the relegation zone by the end of the season.

With the departure of Manousakis, along with his assistants Pitso Dladla and Ronnie Gabriel in June, uncertainty loomed over the club's future. The hunt for a new coach was set to begin, with an announcement expected on Monday, July 3rd.

In this tumultuous period, Ovella's return to pre-season training comes as a ray of hope for Richards Bay.

His goal-scoring prowess and attacking flair have the potential to reignite the team's fortunes and propel them to new heights in the upcoming season.