Uganda Cranes and AFC Leopards goalkeeper Benjamin “Benja” Ochan is optimistic that they will finish among the top three by the close of business of the 2019-2020 Kenya Premier League (KPL) season.
“We have had a fair run although not consistent in the current season. I believe we shall finish among the top four” Ochan who is capped 17 times for the Uganda Cranes noted.
Currently quarantined at his Entebbe based home (because of the Coronavirus pandemic), Ochan who has an enviable drop kick and incredible shot stopping antics joined AFC Leopards from Zambia’s Kabwe Warriors in July 2019.
The Kenya Premier League is currently on hold, like the rest of the sporting events world-wide because of the pandemic.
By the time of the break, AFC Leopards had just lost 1-0 to traditional arch-rivals Gor Mahia in the outspoken Mashemeji Derby at Kasarani national stadium with Ochan in goal.
A week earlier, AFC Leopards had smiled to a 1-0 victory away to Chemelil Sugar.
There are 11 matches to the end of the KPL season, AFC Leopards is 6th at the moment with 40 points, 14 adrift from the leaders, Gor Mahia.
WE ARE NOT SO FAR FROM THE LEADING PACK. anything is still possible with the remaining games. given the teamwork element, the support of the technical team and our lovely fans, we shall achieveBenjamin Ochan, AFC Leopards Goalkeeper
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On life in Kenya, as he adjusted from Zambia, Ochan acknowledges he quickly settled in because the weather and way of life in Kenya does not differ from that of his mother country, Uganda.
“I quickly settled in quickly in Kenya when I had just arrived from Zambia. Everything from the language, weather and general way of in Kenya does not differ from the Uganda setting. Life has been good and was well received by the Kenyan community” Ochan adds.
Ochan is a product of the famous Entebbe Young Football Academy before he sought greener pastures at Kampala Kids League (KKL).
He also had a stint at Danish club AGF Aarhus during the youthful days in 2007.
The 30 year old devoted staunch Christian has previously played at KCCA for three different stints in 2008-2009, 2015-2018, South Africa’s Bloemfontein Celtic (2010), Sports Club Villa (2011-2012), Sports Club Victoria University (2013-2014) and lately Zambia’s Kabwe Warriors (2018-2019).
National team duty:
Ochan has played 17 times for the Uganda Cranes team since making his debut on 30th September 2013 against Egypt.
He has played two African Nations Championships in South Africa (2014) and Morocco (2018).
The left footed goalkeeper has won a number of accolades to include the inaugural CECAFA Nile Basin cup (2014), two Uganda Premier League titles with KCCA (2015/16 and 2016/2017) as well as one Uganda Cup title (2016/2017).
Having signed a one year contract with the Ingwe, Ochan’s performance has prompted his bosses for negotiations for a possible renewal but he remains locked up on the future.
“About the future, no one really knows about tomorrow apart from God. My bosses at AFC Leopards and I are aware about the contract signed but who knows what happens next?” Ochan speaks philosophically.
The Ugandan has kept 13 clean sheets at the Den in 22 matches this season.
The Leopards have roared loudest with the Kenya Premier League trophy on 12 times in 1966, 1967, 1970, 1973, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1992 and lately 1998.