Nine years after blazing the trail as the league’s most valuable player, even earning a move to Europe, George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo is a man on serious decline and lingers pensively in the current player transfer window without a contract and uncertain if he is wanted by Gor Mahia.
The fleet-footed winger fell down the pecking order at K’Ogalo to the lows of making just five league starts last season.
His involvement in the club’s impressive continental run was even more marginal that the 27-year-old must just wait for Gor to sound him out for a contract renewal at an age where player-power is getting more defined.
K’Ogalo seem hesitant and are taking their sweet time before offering a contract to player regarded by many a legend in the club. Worse still, there seem to be no suitors even as the new season draws closer.
Blackberry was left out of K’Ogalo’s travelling squad to the Cecafa Club Championships in Rwanda but was also missing from the list of six released players. His contract is up for renewal but he did not do enough last season to warrant a continued stay.
Chief executive officer Omondi Aduda intimated that the club is waiting for a word from coach Hassan Oktay before deciding the players’ fate.
“He does not have a running contract and his performance dipped so steeply last season that he was relegated to a bit-part player. We did not release him because we want the coach to state if he needs him or not before we make a decision,” said Aduda.
Blackberry confirmed to People Sport that he is waiting for K’Ogalo to table a contract but so far no one has contacted him.
“I was left out of the trip to Cecafa because my contract elapsed and has not been renewed. Hopefully, Gor will offer an extension or someone else will table something for me. In the meantime, I’m training at Camp Toyoyo to keep fit and be ready,” he said.
Blackberry was suspected to be among senior players cited for paralysing the club by leading go-slows last season. Infuriated chairman Ambrose Rachier then threatened to exorcise the ring leaders come end of the season.
A senior official also disclosed that ugly occurrences last season is the main reason the player’s future is in limbo. “Some officials want him gone with another calling for his retention. Whatever the case, his future will be resolved in the coming week when the team re-assembles for training,” said the official.
Among the senior players who have departed K’Ogalo in the current transfer window is Jacques Tuyisenge who was sold to Petro Atletico of Angola for Sh15 million.
Midfielder Francis Kahata departed to Tanzania’s Simba on a free transfer while skipper Harun Shakava and right-back Philemon Otieno have six and four months respectively left on their contracts.