Harambee Stars defender Joash ‘Berlin Wall’ Onyango can’t wait to make his debut in the Caf Champions League group stages with Tanzanian giants Simba SC.
The former Gor Mahia defender says this will be the perfect opportunity to showcase his talent and even attract interest from big clubs so as to achieve his dream of playing in Europe in the future.
Simba SC qualified for the lucrative group stages after a 4-1 aggregate win against Platinum of Zimbabwe. Despite losing 1-0 away in the first leg, they bounced back to register a 4-0 win at home on January 6.
Wekundu wa Msimbazi, however, face an uphill task in Group A after been drawn against defending champions Al Ahly of Egypt, As Vita Club of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Al Merrikh of Sudan.
Onyango joined Simba in August, 2020 from record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia on a three-year contract and has established himself as a regular at the heart of the defence for the 21-times Tanzanian Premier League champions.
“This is the perfect chance to showcase my skills and hopefully get a move to Europe. I am targeting at least a quarterfinal berth in this competition. We have been drawn against teams in a very tough group and I am determined to fight for my team to get a good result,” Onyango told Nation Sport on Monday.
“These are the games which open one’s path to Europe and that is why I have been training hard to perform better and play abroad. It will be tough because we are meeting the best teams in the continent, but every player in our team is ready for the duel,” added Onyango.
The 27-year-old center back won three Kenyan Premier League titles with Gor and has so far settled in Tanzania. He says the team is getting good results on the pitch due to good structures in management.
“Here you have to perform because all that pertains to your welfare is catered for by the club. That is what differentiates Simba from Gor Mahia, where we had to go for months without pay,” he says.
The former Kakamega Homeboyz defender also revealed that he had developed a cordial relationship with Belgian coach Sven Vandenbroeck, who resigned from his role on January 8.
Another Kenyan international Francis Kahata also plays for Simba, but has not been featuring regularly in competitive matches and Onyango feels for him.
“Vandenbroeck was a good coach and we had developed a good relationship before he left. We are also very close with Kahata and we have been encouraging each other, though in football sometimes one has to be down. Kachi (Kahata) will get back to his form and shine again,” says Onyango.