The Magical Hands Of Matthew Ottamax

Matthew Owino Ottamax is one of the best goalkeepers to grace Kenyan soccer. His antics and reflexes between the goalposts while making crucial saves during his prime time while playing were the best memorable moments every soccer fan would cherish. Ottamax was also known for effectively commanding his defenders while in goal.

Matthew Owino Ottamax is one of the best goalkeepers to grace Kenyan soccer. His antics and reflexes between the goalposts while making crucial saves during his prime time while playing were the best memorable moments every soccer fan would cherish. Ottamax was also known for effectively commanding his defenders while in goal.

Early Soccer Life

Matthew Ottamax Owino is a product of Mathare Youth Sports Association commonly referred to as MYSA; which he represented even in the annual Norway Cup of 1990. At this tender age while playing for MYSA he was spotted and signed by the defunct Undugu F.C which plied its trade in the Nairobi Provincial League Division Two.

Photo: Matthew Ottamax (front row,left)representing in Norway to represent MYSA in a tournament

Kenya Premier League
A move to Re Union would soon follow, while still in form one at Kangaru High School in Embu. Re-Union was then under the stewardship of former Kenya Football Federation chairman, Peter Kenneth currently a gubernatorial aspirant for Nairobi county. In 1995, after an impressive four years at Re Union league giants Gor Mahia demanded for his signature. In 1998 he joined their bitter rivals AFC Leopards SC where he won the league and CECAFA cup.

Photo: Matthew Ottamax with AFC Leopards SC league title winning team

Uganda Premier League Adventure
He crossed the border, in 1999, to join Uganda soccer powerhouse SC Villa where he stayed for two years. At Villa Park he won the league title, domestic cup and played in Cecafa club championships losing to Yanga of Tanzania in the finals.
 

Photo: Matthew Ottamax Owino in SC Villa colours before match kickoff

Kenya Premier League comeback
In 2001 he came back to Kenya and found Kenyan soccer in shambles. Players were not being paid and lacked morale.  He decided to rejoin Re-Union because of his close relationship with Peter Kenneth who was paying him to play for Re-Union. Unfortunately the playing unit was not motivated, and for this reason Ottamax decide to move to Gor Mahia. Nonetheless, at Gor Mahia the situation was worse, the club was experiencing financial difficulties and a few diehard fans were volunteering to see the club through the 2002/2003 season. During this period Gor twice survived demotion to the second tier thanks to political interventions even though it had finished in relegation positions.
 
Nationwide Football
In 2005 he joined World Hope F.C under the tutelage of Zedekiah “Zico” Otieno. They finished the season unbeaten and earned promotion to Kenyan top tier league as well as clinched the President’s Cup though they were knocked out of African Cup Winners Cup by Uganda outfit Uganda Revenue Authority in the first round. Mid 2008 he made a brief return to AFC leopards which then, featured in the nationwide league though he didn’t earn any game time.

National Team
Matthew Ottamax Owino received his first call up to Harambee Stars in 1993 and featured in invitational tournament in Libya. He broke the ranks when he was the first choice goalkeeper for Harambee Stars during the 1998world cup qualifier match against Desert Foxes of Algeria on both legs in Nairobi and Algiers. His brilliant performance in Algiers ensured Kenya progressed to the next phase of qualifiers.
 

Photo: Matthew Ottamax shaking hands with Sam Nyamwea before harambee Stars match kickoff

Life after Soccer
After retiring from soccer Ottamax started developing young soccer talents at Ujuzi Academy as a youth coach and program coordinator. He also served as a coach to many international schools a thing he appreciates so much. Matthew Ottamax ventured into goalkeeping coaching and besides his current post at Nakumatt FC; he’s also coached other Kenya Premier League sides City Stars, and Gor Mahia. While at Gor Mahia as goalkeeping coach , the side won the league unbeaten and conceded very few goals. In 2016 he had as  dispute with current Gor Mahia coach ex-Brazil  international Ze Maria which led to his exit from the club.

Parting Shot

The father of three apart from soccer coaching is also a businessman and gives a word of advice to upcoming and current soccer players to maintain discipline, avoid drugs and alcohol so as to compete at highest levels and prepare for life after soccer.

READ: Kenyan Star of The Week – Mathews ‘Ottomax’ Owino

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