Former Asante Kotoko defender Joseph Ochaya explains why most Uganda players fail to succeed in abroad
Former Asante Kotoko defender Joseph Ochaya has expounded why most Uganda players fail to do well in foreign leagues. Ochaya is one of Ugandan players who have had a number of unsuccessful stints with clubs abroad including Ghana Premier League giants Asante Kotoko.
The 26-year-old left-back, who currently plies his trade with Congolese giants TP Mazembe, insists there are many reasons that have seen his compatriots fail to leave their marks at various clubs. “I don’t agree with people who say players leave when they aren’t ready and well prepared,” Ochaya said in an interview.
“There are many reasons that fail us out there that are beyond football on the pitch, for example when the coach and fans don’t like you it’s hard for you to last longer in a given club because in most cases
the fans have a big say and have influence in decision making." “The other burning issue is money because it’s the reason why we leave home so when you're not paid for quite long, you're left with no choice apart from leaving.”
The full-back absolved football agents from blame, who at times have been accused of misadvising their players thus contributing to their failures.
“Agents are important people and our lawyers who help us understand and interpret the contracts well and even in case of anything like a breach in contract, they come in to advise,” Ochaya added.
“No agent forces a player to sign anything and it’s after both parties have agreed to a particular deal that’s when we sign so people saying agents have a hand in players coming back home it’s wrong.” He also urged the Ugandans to deviate from acts that demoralise players who fail to earn a breakthrough in a foreign league.
“Many Ugandans talk ill and laugh when players return home which kills their morale especially those that are weak-hearted that’s why you find some never get back to their best which is bad,” continued Ochaya. “We have to support our own players in good and bad times because in life especially our football there are good and bad times.”
Ochaya has also played for Naivibank Saigon of Vietnam and Lusaka Dynamos in Zambia's Super League. In Europe, he was at Germany's SPVGG Greuther Furth in August 2013 while in 2016 he failed to agree on a deal with South Africa's Bidvest Wits.