HOPING TO MAKE A MARK

Wazalendo's Olando fired up after promotion to senior team

He was part of the Kenya Under 18 side that played in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2018.

In Summary

• Usagi won the HockeyKE player of the year award in December last year as he helped a resurgent Fidelis Kimanzi-tutored side to a runner up position in the Kenya Hockey Union League.

• I have been slowly working my way out to play for the senior team. Playing alongside Usagi and Barasa will not only boost my confidence but also provides a platform for me to hone my skills and become a better player — Olando.

Ian Olando celebrates with Ivan Ludiali in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos, Argentina.
Ian Olando celebrates with Ivan Ludiali in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos, Argentina.

Fast-rising Wazalendo attacking prospect Ian Olando  is excited on the possibility of forming a worrisome attack alongside Danston Barasa and Sutcliffe Usagi.

Usagi won the HockeyKE player of the year award in December last year as he helped a resurgent Fidelis Kimanzi-tutored side to a runner up position in the Kenya Hockey Union League.

Barasa, who is technically gifted, played in the German league in September 2019 and is central to the team's plans going forward.

However, the 20-year old Olando was recently promoted from the junior ranks and is relishing the challenge of playing in the top tier.

Last season, he played for Super League side Wazalendo Masters and his exemplary performance saw the coaches earmark him for a bigger role.

The move is meant to help him gain valuable experience ahead of the African Cup of Club Championships in late November in Blantyre, Malawi.

"I have been slowly working my way out to play for the senior team. Playing alongside Usagi and Barasa will not only boost my confidence but also provides a platform for me to hone my skills and become a better player," said Olando.

"Barasa has set the bar high. Usagi is a fighter as well. If we can create a rapport on the field, we can go one more step from where the team left last season," said the former Musingu High School player.

Olando joined the Wazalendo set up in 2013 as a class seven boy before heading to Musingu in 2015. He was part of the Kenya Under 18 side that played in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2018.