‘Good things do come to people who wait’ this is an adage that best applies to Vipers SC custodian, Derrick Ochan. He has had to wait on the sidelines many a time, there moments when he couldn’t seem to break into even the Vipers bench.
Frustrating as that may have been, this young lad held his own together and never dropped the mantle. Even at a time when he seemed to be third in line behind Burundi U23 shot stopper, Fabien Mutombora and the lanky Bashir Ssekagya.
The duo shared roles between the sticks in the Uganda Premier League (UPL) and CAF Champions League as Derrick Ochan had to humbly make do with a place on the bench.
His déjà vu moment came in a fixture away to CS Constantine in Algeria when he was prematurely summoned to take over the reins between the sticks as Bashir Ssekagya was taken off injured. At the same time a dip in form for Mutombora ensured that he earned some minutes under his belt.
These favourable occurrences have worked big favour for Ochan who now has time to prove that he is worth the Number one role in the Venoms’ goal. The former St. Mary’s Kitende goalkeeper has done himself big favour in his recent showings. Conceding only once in Vipers’ last 3 UPL outings and twice in the Stanbic Bank Uganda Cup. Decent stuff if you ask me.
But surely we’ll always have to look back at his cameo appearance against CS Constantine in Algeria where he came on for the injured Ssekagya and against all odds kept a clean sheet showing big nerves in the process.
Putting in the shift daily
“It’s been a long wait for me,” Ochan told the club’s official website www.viperssc.ug. “I always try to do my best every time I am selected. Vipers is a big team and we need positive results whenever we step onto the field of play. There is no time to joke and every day is a working day with my goalkeeping coach Moses Oloya.”
The young Ochan, who has been around the Vipers SC set up for a while now having featured for the junior team isn’t seating on his laurels as he’s set his ambitions quite. He is loftily high by trying to grab the attention of national coach Sebastien Desabre.
“Every player has his time and chance. When you misuse your chance, it may never come back. Life is all about making the most of your chances. I want to maximize every opportunity by chipping in brilliant performances because the bigger dream is to make it to the national team,” added Ochan.
The shot-stopper also says that he borrows a leaf from his role models; Uganda Cranes captain Denis Onyango and former Vipers goalie Ismail Watenga and tries to replicate their lives both on and off the pitch.
“There is no doubt that Onyango and Watenga are my role models. I want to emulate them. I learnt my basics from Watenga whereas Onyango has always encouraged me to work hard so that when my chance comes, it finds me prepared. I have always followed his advice and see where I am today,” says Ochan.
“What I know about football is that it’s a competition and anyone who wants to be better has to beat the best. And that is what I always strive for. I am always welcome to anyone that offers competition.”
Now if the precedent he’s setting is anything to be followed, Ochan is surely destined to achieve big things as he’s immensely grounded and steadfast.