INTERVIEW: “Football was my only source of income, and I had no fallback option,” Denis Onyango reveals why he has been consistent and successful in his football career

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Former Uganda Cranes captain and shot-stopper Denis Onyango has revealed that having no fallback position in life has been key to his success as a professional footballer. Onyango, who retired from international football in 2021, says that when he left Uganda for South Africa, he had in his mind that football was the only option for him to earn a living, and hence he had to put in his full dedication to succeed as a footballer.

“I knew why I went to South Africa, and that was to earn a living. Football was my only source of income, so I had to put in the work and effort to become a good example to the younger generation,” said Onyango while appearing on NBS Sport’s PressBox show last night.

However, he disclosed that many setbacks happened while he was in South Africa, but he remained focused on achieving his target of becoming a professional footballer to be able to earn a living.

“Sometimes it doesn’t come the way you think it should, but sometimes you have to be patient. I was loaned out to several teams. I was also relegated with teams I played for. At Sundowns, I was once the fourth-choice goalkeeper, but I just kept working hard and waiting for my time,” he said.

He urged Ugandan players to invest in their bodies, as the body is the main asset in sports.

“Being a professional requires you to be strict about what you eat and drink. Knowing when to rest is crucial and, of course, working hard,” Onyango said before stating that professionalism will help players benefit from their careers.

This year, Onyango won his seventh consecutive league title with Mamelodi Sundowns and a record-extending 11th PSL title. The former Cranes captain and goalkeeper is the most decorated player in South African football.

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