Former Kenyan international McDonald Mariga has hit back at critics who claim he did not help his fellow countrymen earn deals abroad.
In an interview with Radio 47, Mariga said that many players hide behind the excuse that they were not helped to get deals abroad. He pointed out that Musa Otieno, who had many brothers who were also footballers, did not take any of them to South Africa when he played there.
Mariga also said that when he was at Parma, Francis Ouma, who was the top scorer in Kenya at the time, came to Parma for trials but did not succeed. He said that he lived with Ouma in the same house during his trials and that his mother cooked for them.
Mariga also said that Ouma claimed to have shared an agent with him, but he did not know who the agent was. He said that when he was playing in the third division in Sweden, Ouma went for trials at five first division teams but was not successful.
Mariga said that when he went to the first division in Sweden, Ouma came again and did more trials. He said that Ouma was the player who had gone for more trials in Kenya than anyone else.
“No one has had possibilities like him,” Mariga said.
Mariga’s comments come at a time when there is a lot of debate in Kenya about why more players are not able to secure deals abroad. Some players have accused their more successful teammates of not helping them, but others have said that it is up to each player to work hard and prove themselves to clubs.
Mariga’s own story shows that it is not always easy for Kenyan players to get deals abroad, even if they are talented. He had to go through many trials before he finally got his break with Inter Milan.
Mariga’s advice to young Kenyan players is to work hard and never give up on their dreams. He also said that they should not be afraid to reach out to more experienced players for help and advice.