Onyango: Why I rather stay at Mamelodi Sundowns than go overseas


Mamelodi Sundowns number one goalkeeper Denis Onyango reveals he declined an offer from Asia, saying he opted to remain at Chloorkop because the club took care of him.

The Uganda national skipper says his ambition is to keep winning trophies with the reigning Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions and that he is wary of Bidvest Wits whom they will face in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals.

On the other hand, the 34-year-old states that people tend to doubt the ability of players once they are above the age of 30 years, saying time is against him in terms of going to Europe.

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“When you are playing, you must always have ambitions. Of course, it might be a little bit late for me to go to Europe but there’s been an opportunity for me to go and play in Arab countries. I just declined it,” Onyango told IOL.

“But everyone has to go and play somewhere else. I’m okay at Sundowns. I’m happy, they were there for me when I was not playing. They were helpful and they believed in me. I can’t just abandon them because I’m going to get $2000 in Asia.

"Why can’t I just stay here and finish my career around people who believe in me? Otherwise, every footballer dreams about playing in Europe.”

Although many believe goalkeepers get better with age, the Telkom Knockout Cup title winner believes it’s not easy to launch his career in Europe at the age of 34.

“It is not easy because there are few African goalkeepers in Europe. But I believe that young people must aim high,” he added.

"The older you get, people start doubting you. I believe that maybe time is not on my side in terms of playing in Europe. But there will always be an opportunity for me to play, say, in Arab countries.”

Having four PSL titles, two TKO Cups as well as the Nedbank Cup with the Tshwane giants, Onyango says he will do everything for Sundowns but he is wary of the Clever Boys whom they are expected to face after the break owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The club has been with me during all the difficult times. When I lost my dad when I had issues with my wife and son they were there. Why should I abandon the club?" he continued.

"Relocating my wife and kids is going to be difficult, having been in South Africa for the past 10 to 14 years. It will be difficult to start afresh especially when I’m not going to stay long.

"I don’t think anyone will give me a five-year contract - it might be two years. Why should I relocate because I want more money? I need my family to be comfortable as well.

“We are facing a difficult team in Bidvest Wits in the Nedbank Cup semi-final. They play very aggressive football. Wits are direct and they always give us problems. We have to be cautious when we face them.”

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