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Gor Mahia’s ‘Calabar’ invited for trials in Tanzania

Football standards in Kenya have been placed under fresh scrutiny after one of the best players in the premier league was invited for trials by a Tanzanian club.

The impending deal involves Gor Mahia’s David “Calabar” Owino’s possible transfer to Tanzanian club Simba SC.

But there is a catch.

Simba SC officials seem not to quite believe in the defender’s quality or worth as they do with Ugandan forward Dan Sserunkuma, whom the club signed also from Gor Mahia last week without subjecting him to a trial.

So the Msimbazi Street-based side in Dar es Salaam has reached out to Gor’s administration requesting for permission “to try out the player for an unspecified amount of time”, with a view to acquiring the defender if he eventually impresses.

This is despite the 26 year old having played an integral role in his club winning successive league titles in the past two seasons.

RECEIVED REQUEST

He has also twice won the best defender’s award in the Kenya Premier League Awards gala.

“We have received a formal request from Simba SC inviting David Owino for trials and if he is successful and satisfies (the team’s) technical bench, Simba SC will be willing to engage the club over his services,” the club’s Secretary General Chris Omondi told Gor Mahia’s official portal.

The player has also represented the Harambee Stars on 25 occasions, scoring twice.

With the national football team, Owino has bagged a winners and finalist medal at the regional Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup tournament, at the expense of the Tanzania national team on both occasions, in the past two years.

The player has also featured in the Africa Cup and World Cup qualifiers respectively and arguably put in his best ever performance when Kenya played Africa champions Nigeria away last December in a match that ended in a 1-1 draw.

Tanzania is ranked two positions above Kenya in the latest monthly FIFA rankings but have a far worse record on the international scene.

MILLIONS

But “Calabar” -who has six months remaining on his contract- stands to earn almost four times what he is currently paid at Gor on a monthly basis, on top of receiving a sign-on fee spinning into millions of shillings.

These are monies no Kenyan club – let alone the cash strapped Gor – can afford to pay him.

Calabar becomes the second Kenyan international after Sofapaka forward Enock Agwanda, to be invited for trials in Tanzania over the past week.