Kenyan teen eager to make mark in senior level

Richard Odada during a past match.

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • Odada advises upcoming footballers to keep working hard.
  • "Just a few years ago I was playing football in Rongai and Kibra and I am now a professional footballer in Europe. I am still a work in progress but definitely I am not where I used to be," he said.

Kenya Under-20 midfielder Richard Odada is eager to prove himself at Serbian giants Red Star Belgrade and kick start his senior professional career when the league resumes.

Odada, a former AFC Leopards Youth player, joined Red Star Belgrade in 2018, but featured for the youth side. He impressed and was loaned out to second-tier side FK Graficar Beograd to continue with his development at the beginning of the year.

He featured in eight games before the coronavirus pandemic halted sports globally and as leagues worldwide plan for resumption, Odada is eager to start a new phase of his career as a senior player.

"It has been an amazing experience and I have learnt a lot featuring for Red Star Belgrade and at Graficar as well. I have improved greatly as a player and I hope to now fight for my position in the senior team," Odada told Nation Sport.

Richard Odada during a training session.

Photo credit: Pool

The 19-year old has featured for the Kenya U-20 side, but is also eager to make the step up to the senior side.

"It is always a pleasure to put on the national team jersey and I am hoping to rub shoulders with senior players like Victor Wanyama and Michael Olunga in the near future. It will be a dream come true to represent my country at the senior level," he added.

Before joining Red Star Belgrade, Odada had unsuccessful trials at Italian giants Juventus and Inter Milan, an experience he says has shaped his character.

"It was a learning experience and once you are at such a level then you get to know that indeed it takes a lot to become a professional footballer. It made me stronger and I did better when I got the chance to try out at Red Star Belgrade."

Richard Odada during a past match.

Photo credit: Pool

Odada advises upcoming footballers to keep working hard.

"Just a few years ago I was playing football in Rongai and Kibra and I am now a professional footballer in Europe. I am still a work in progress but definitely I am not where I used to be," he said.

"I never knew I would move to Europe so soon but I kept working hard and it just happened. This should serve as an example to the upcoming footballers in Kenya - everything is possible, just keep working hard and trust in God, He actualizes dreams," he concluded.