Striker Dickson, named after former Premier, keen to carry form at lower league
James Waindi @jameswaindi1
Just a year ago Dickson Raila would even do odd jobs to raise money to go and watch multiple Kenyan Premier League winners Gor Mahia play at the Moi Stadium Kisumu.
As recent as a match between Gor and Western Stima last year where star striker Dennis Oliech suffered a fractured arm, Raila was at the terraces supporting his favourite side as he represented Chiga-based Masawa FC in the County League.
Fast forward to September 2020m, he is now donning Gor Mahia’s jersey and will be relied on for goals when suspended football action resumes.
The sleek finisher who found the back of the net 50 times for little known Masawa in all competitions last season, is already a darling of the ‘Green Army’ after showing capability in training.
Named after former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Dickson who was born in 1997 when Raila first vied for presidency on the banner of National Democratic Party (NDP), is excited on the quick turn of events and is slowly coming to terms with the newly found fame.
He was sported by Gor Mahia’s scouts at a local seven-a-side tournament in Kisumu and called to Nairobi for trials and after just two sessions with the coaches, they gave him a seal of approval and recommended that he be given a contract.
Now the jovial player is keen to win more local titles with the 19-time league winners and also help them win the continental prize.
“It has been my childhood dream to join Gor Mahia which is the best team in East Africa. I know joining Gor is going to open many ways for me because I want to play up to the highest level.
As a striker my job is to bang goals and that will market me a lot,” said Raila who started his professional career with Chiga FC, before briefly joining Kadiju FC then moved to next door rivals Masawa.
He added: “My dad gave me the name Raila when I was born in 1997 just before the General-Election, because he was a very strong supporter of Raila Odinga for many years.”
The player faces stiff competition to earn a starting spot at the local giants as he will be up against highly rated youngster Benson Omalla who joined the side from Western Stima, Ugandan star Tito Okello, Burundian Jules Ulimwengu, Clinton Okoth and Nicholas Kipkurui.
“I want to grab any chance that I will be given to make a mark, I know it’s very competitive, but I love the challenge,” said the former Chiga’s GP Owiti High School alumni.