Age is just a number

Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 00:00 |
ZOO FC player Geoffrey Gichana (18) leads members of his team in warming up before their FKF Premier League match against Mathare United at Kasarani Stadium in Fabruary. Photo/PD/RODGERS NDEGWA

At 40 years, he is the oldest known player in Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League and has eclipsed the record of journeyman Noah Abich “Baba” who hung his boots on October 15, 2020, aged 37.

If you want to prove that age is just a number, then look no further than Zoo Kericho’s link-man, Geoffrey Gichana who is still going strong at the age which is considered a bonus of sorts for a footballer.

If you hold the doctrine that Abich’s record sent tongues wagging, then you have never heard of Gichana’s who is increasingly making an impact for Zoo as a player despite the team languishing in the lower reaches of the top flight league.

The only difference between the two is that while Gichana is a one team player, Abich turned out for a record 12 clubs among them Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards, Tusker, Mathare United, Sofapaka, Bandari and Nairobi City Stars, before saying Adios to the beautiful game.

Gichana may not be an astoundingly prolific goal-scoring machine, but he has in his possession a trait which is creating chances for his team-mates.

“I can play in the number six or eight position which and this gives me leeway to distribute balls to the front-runners.

I’m always happy when my passes results into goals for Zoo,” said Gichana in a matter-of-factly tone.

However, this should not be construed to mean that Gichana does not have an eye for goal and his superb strike in Zoo’s 3-3 draw against Vihiga United when the former first earned promotion to the top tier league will remain etched in his memory.

Said Gichana: “The match was closely contested and I remember making a dizzying run on the flank, leaving Vihiga’s defenders for dead and then unleashed a thunderbolt which was a tad too much to their goalkeeper.’’

Gichana was born and raised in Marani, Kisii County and his prowess should be least surprising in that his native Nyanza region has produced some of Kenya’s greatest football legends like Henry Motego, Henry Nyandoro (RIP) and Mike Okoth.

The Nyakeri Primary and  Secondary schools alumnus, who is a clerk at a timber company in Kericho, attributes his football success to Zoo Kericho founder and owner Ken Ochieng’.

“Ochieng’ was the one who lured me to Zoo Kericho where I managed to horn my skills and I cannot thank him enough.

Zoo has been by second home and I’m enjoying every bit of my time there with very supportive teammates,” said an ever jovial Gichana.

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