Visit Railways club during training days and there’s one thing you’ll not miss, little known 23-year-old Tony Omondi going through his kicking routine in an empty pitch before his teammates start trickling in for the evening session.
A quiet personality, which one may mistake for timidness until you strike a conversation with the 5 feet 9 in fly half who doubles as an electrical and electronic engineering student at the Technical University of Kenya, now in his fifth year.
Omondi who joined Mwamba at the beginning of the 2018/2019 season from TUK went on to produce brilliant performances in the black shirt throughout the season, cementing his position as the preferred regular starter at fly-half. He went on to help his team secure a semi-final slot, consequently earning a call up for Kenya Simbas trials.
“It’s an amazing feeling. I never expected to play at this stage sooner.I came from the lowest tier league where I used to boss everyone to this amazing club. The most humbling thing is that I became a regular starter, that shows that the coach and his team believed in me,” he told MwambaRugby.Com.
Being thrust into the thick of things in Kenya’s top tier league, having played only in the nationwide league was not the easiest of things he has had to do.
“The biggest challenge has to be fitting into the style of play in a major club. It was a bit tricky at first but later on, I was able to adapt.”
Despite not making the cut in the final training squad for the Simbas, the former Langalanga high school man believes this is just the beginning of a great journey he has embarked on.
“I’m so humbled and at the same time super proud of myself. I never expected to be called up after my rookie season. I have been watching Kenya Simbas play and being a part of them for just trials was a humbling experience. I thank Mwamba coaches and teammates for giving an opportunity to showcase what I can do,” he added.
Starting his playing days at Langalanga High School in 2010, Omondi says he has been looking up to Lavin Asego as his mentor, and what a better way to connect with his idol than to play for Kulabu as Mwamba is commonly known. Having come from his rookie Kenya cup season, he terms Collins Injera as the outstanding player he shared the pitch with this season.
Donning the national colours will be a dream come true for Omondi who terms stiff competition at the top as motivation to hit the pitch.
“My motivation has to be competition. Being able to compete with top-level athletes in Kenya is a big motivation to hit the pitch every single day to better myself. Currently, the main goal is to play for either Kenya Simbas or Shujaa.”
Omondi hopes to continue with exploits with Mwamba in the sevens circuit.