Patience defines an individual, keeps egos in check and builds character.

That is the tale for many sportsmen. It is always all about timing, especially when you’re a footballer.

And for anyone that has closely been following Vipers in their last five outings can testify that the term patience fittingly defines Derrick Ochan’s character.

Having started the season as third choice custodian, Ochan has been outstanding between the sticks since he took over the gloves from Burundian U-23 international Fabien Mutombora and Bashir Ssekagya.

The latter duo shared roles in the Uganda Premier League (UPL) and CAF Champions League engagements this season with Ochan ungrudgingly taking his place on the bench.

And as fate has it, Ssekagya’s time in-between the sticks was curtailed due to an injury sustained during a CAF Champions League fixture away to CS Constantine in Algeria whereas a dip in form put paid to Mutombora time out in the middle.

Those scenarios worked in favour for Ochan who now has time to prove he is worth the No.1 role in the Venoms’ starting XI. And the St. Mary’s SS Kitende alumni hasn’t hurt his reputation any bit as justified by the numbers which show that he has conceded just once in the UPL’s last three games and twice in the Stanbic Bank Uganda Cup.

Nothing can also be taken away from his little cameo against CS Constantine when he came on as a substitute after Ssekagya’s injury and amazingly kept a clean sheet.

Working hard everyday

“It’s been a long wait for me,” Ochan opened up to “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 lad who also played for the Vipers’ understudy side – The Junior Venoms – and notched a handful of titles at Kitende is also focusing on grabbing the national coach Sebastien Desabre’s eyes.

“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 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,” concluded Ochan in his exclusive chat to Vipers’ Media & Communication Department.

And if numbers and commitment are anything to go by, Ochan is destined for greatness and the sky might just remain as a mere view. Good luck, boy!!!

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