Tracking Bernard Onyango's soccer history
Tracking Bernard Onyango's soccer history
In the recent weeks, AFC Leopards has found a winning rhythm that has seen it win three matches in a row. The club had in the past year been engulfed in moments of political instability but seems to have put its house in good order as reflected on the pitch by the good results posted so far.
However, behind the impressive performance of a club, there are people who handle the welfare of the players each day putting them in the right mood of the game. The team manager in a team is responsible for paying the players allowances and handling all the logistics needed in terms of team travel and accommodation, training plans, meals among other roles. Today we seek to dig into the history of one of Kenya’s celebrated strikers Bernard Onyango “Imboko” the current Team Manager at AFC Leopards.
Onyango’s achievement in the football game, has led to an interest of becoming an international coach as well as starting a youth soccer foundation in his native home town of Mumias. The youth soccer foundation will then provide a channel for him to offer a program that will assist the underprivileged in realizing their sporting ambition by setting up a full fledged soccer academy.
Bernard Onyango joined Nang’oma basic school for his primary education from 1981-1989 before enrolling for his secondary education in Kapenguria boys high school in 1990-1993.
At the time, football was not a career priority and soon after high school, Onyango joined Eldoret Kenya Co-operative creameries KCC as a clerk in 1995-1996 where he also played football for the then famous club KCC. In 1996, he joined Mumias Sugar Company as a senior clerk where he worked till 2004 when he was retrenched.
At the tender age of 16, Onyango played in the national football level for his primary school in 1989. In the same year, he played for the under 17 national team under the rule of former Kakamega high school coach Chris Makokha.
Two years later in 1991, Onyango played at the national secondary school championships and in the finals in Mombasa in 1992. In 1993, he clinched the first trophy in his career after his team won the national secondary school championship in Nakuru. Later in the same year, Onyango joined Scarlet FC. (Military formed club).
In 1994, he joined Mumias FC where he managed to score 14 goals in the KPL season that year. In the same year, he played for the under 20 team in Cameroon under the then coach, Tom Olaba and a year later in 1995, he signed a new contract with KCC FC in Eldoret scoring 13 goals in the season. In the same year, he also featured in the Under 23 national team match against South Africa in Johannesburg under coach Vojo.
1996 was a major year for ‘Imboko’ as he featured in the senior national team Harambee stars for the first time in his career playing against Guinea in the African cup of nations qualifiers under the late but most successful coach Reinhardt Fabisch.
In 1997 Onyango moved from KCC FC to join Mumias sugar FC which participated in CAF cup against Arab contractors under coach Midega. It was in the same year that Onyango played professional football in Egypt’s club Arab contractor FC under coach Kruger from Germany. This was a result of his impressive performance during their CAF champions league match.
1998 saw him play for Harambee stars in the world cup qualifiers against Djibouti, Seychelles, Uganda, Malawi, and Madagascar under coach Abdul Majid while in 1999, he played against Malawi, Zambia, DRC Congo, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia with the national team under Nigerian coach Christian Chukwu.
The return of the late Reinhardt Fabisch in 2001 gave Onyango another chance to play for his national team Harambee stars in the African cup of nations against Gabon, Egypt and morocco while in 2002, he played against Rwanda, Uganda, Eritrea and Tanzania in the east Africa challenge cup.
The period between 2002 to 2004, he played for Mumias FC. The club also finished 2nd in the Moi golden league to become the runners up.
His move in 2005 saw him play for A.P Administration Police (Embakasi) before moving to Sony sugar FC and clinched the KPL title. He also assisted the club’s technical bench as a senior player under the reign of Coach Peter Otieno Basanga.
His extreme experience in football earned him a chance to co-ordinate the Mumias sugar Halisi soccer tournament that took place in the western province in 2010.