Being in the frame as Ulinzi Stars goalkeeper is always a big task, and especially for a 23 – year old. Taking on the role once played by the likes of Francis Onyiso, Francis Ochieng and currently James Saruni can prove too daunting, and goalkeeper Timothy Odhiambo confirms just as much.
Towards the start of the season, Timothy wasn’t sure 11 matches into the 2019/20 campaign, he’d be the man manning the posts after Saruni picked an ankle injury, and with Jacktone Odhiambo away on career progression courses.
Seven clean sheets
But here he is, with seven clean sheets in 11 matches and having even attracted call ups to the senior Kenya national team, for the matches against Egypt and Togo. It has all worked well for the youthful keeper, and he is taking it all in stride.
It is hard to overlook him when picking the top performers in the team this season and ahead of Match Day 12, Timothy says he is always guided by the desire to help Ulinzi Stars to silverware and points to team ideals for his progress thus far.
“As a player, I want to do my best always. I want to grow but most of all, to make Ulinzi Stars great. I think this season we decided on one thing, as players – to play for one another, and we have done it so far.
“I feel that I have grown a lot, and I have to thank my team mates for bringing out the best in me and the others. As humans, we are prone to errors but we always deal with these by covering for one another and that is what I’d love to see all season,” he said.
Pre match pressures
With his run of clean sheets so far in the season, Timothy admits that it gives him pressure going to every game seeking to add one more, but he credits his team mates, especially the defence for always being on hand to help.
“Those clean sheets are not mine alone; they belong to the team and the spirit that when we keep a clean sheet, we will get at least a point, or maybe three. When I go to every other match, the pressure is always there. It is normal, because I want to keep them coming and I want to play the role in lifting the team.
“Thankfully, I have a good understanding with the outfield players, and especially the defenders. They always help me settle in the game. My motivation comes from such and when working with the coach, Saruni, Jacktone, Onyiso and my team mates, it becomes easier,” he noted.