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Onyango: Playing for Simba has improved me

Kenyan defender Joash Onyango concedes his move to Tanzania has made him a better player.

Onyango quit Gor Mahia after a financial stand-off with the Kenyan club’s management last season to join the Tanzanian moneybags Simba.

He has since been a mainstay at the heart of defence while partnering Ivorian Pascal Wawa for his new club and also the national team.

He has particularly impressed while playing for the Wekundu wa Msimbazi in the Caf Africa Champions League matches versus Egypt’s Al Ahly, Sudan’s El Merreikh, and DR Congo’s AS Vita to aid the team to make it to the quarters of the lucrative tournament.

Onyango also stood out for Kenya in the recent impressive draw against Egypt and win away to Togo in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

“Coming here, there was a weight of expectations because fans and the administrators expect our team to do well every day so I have had to work very hard to maintain high fitness and performance levels,” explained Onyango.

“We play the best teams in Africa every week and so I cannot put a foot wrong to maintain my place in the team. I am now a better player after working with a highly competent technical staff and some of the best players in the continent.”

Onyango spoke to Nairobi News a day after he was awarded the Simba fans player of the month gong following his standout performances in March.

The award came with a Tsh1 million (about Sh50,000 award) presented to him by the club’s official sponsors Emirate Aluminium at the Mo Simba Arena in Bunju, Dar es Salaam.

The 28-year-old defeated teammates Luis Jose Miquissone and goalkeeper Aishi Manula by accumulating the most votes from the fans who voted on the club’s website and thanked his teammate and fans who helped him land the prize and also the sponsors, Emirate Aluminium for gifting the award which motivates him to keep up with his brilliant performance.

“I want to thank our fans for voting for me as well as the sponsors for presenting me with this gong. I guarantee you that I will continue fighting to ensure the team is performing well,” said the Harambee stars defender.

According to the polls held on the club’s website, a total of 25,719 votes were cast with which Joash Onyango got 20,288 (79%), Aishi Manula was second with 2,673 (18%) and Midfielder Luis Miquissone managed 758 votes (2%).