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Career in Review – Denis Onyango

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By Reporter

Little more fills the Ugandan football faithful with more pride than the name Denis Onyango. Accumulating an impressive 82 caps for the Uganda Cranes, and receiving numerous awards along the way, Onyango truly is a legend of the Ugandan game.

Here we will take a fond trip down memory lane as we assess the career of one of Uganda’s greatest footballing servants.

Born in Uganda’s capital Kampala, Onyango went on to have a varied youth career, sharing his services amongst three institutions, namely at Sharing, then later at Nsambya. His most notable youth career club was where he went on to establish himself in Uganda, at Villla SC. The club, based in the Wakiso district was where Onyango made the jump from his youth league career to his senior professional career.

He only spent a single season at Villa SC, but in that time, managed to establish himself as a club legend, building his senior footballing reputation. He turned in an impressive record where he began developing a solid name in the shot stopping business, later attracting the interest of Ethiopan giants ST. George SA.

His performances in the 2004-2005 season were enough to secure him a spot in goal for the Cranes in a world cup qualifier against Cape Verde. All it took was one performance for Onyango to become a regular starter for the Ugandan national team.

Moving back to his club career, Onyango was again able to achieve plenty in just one season, as he became a local legend at St. George SA. His performances attracted the interests of arguably the continent’s most desirable footballing destination: South Africa’s Premier Soccer League. In 2006, he was approached by Supersport United, one of South Africa’s premier footballing establishments.

Onyango went on to spend an impressive four seasons at Supersport United, and while there, he managed to log in 70 appearances, and even managed to net a goal. After a successful four year stint with the Pretoria based club, he was released, and was picked up by Mpumalanga Black Aces on a free transfer.

For the third time in his career, Onyango only spent one season at a club, as he racked up sixteen appearances for the Black Aces, turning in performances that began attracting the interests of one of South Africa’s most successful clubs, the Mamelodi Sundowns.

Onyango managed to secure a dream move to “The Brazilians” (Sundowns’ nickname) in 2011, and has firmly established himself as a crowd favourite. It was at the Lucas Moripe Masterpieces stadium where the Ugandan international came into his own, and started to grow into the legend that he was bound to become He forged a strong reputation as a reliable shot stopper, with a knack for keeping penalties out of the net.

He remains at Mamelodi Sundowns to this day, and has already been capped 117 for the Pretoria based heavyweights. Onyango went on to win PSL Goalkeeper of the tournament with Sundowns, as he helped them secure their record high points tally of 71 in the 2015/16 season. He further went on to produce 14 clean sheets for the Downs that season, a feat that speaks for itself.

Onyango’s current team faces Supersport United, a team is very familiar with, in the PSL, and are clear favourites to win the fixture, according to local betting giants Hollywoodbets. What’s clear to see is that Onyango’s career has been rich and fruitful, often being rated the number one goalkeeper on the continent.

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