Former Kenya U17 and U20 player Ricky Tolle Solomon could be having lots of tales of how life in Germany; football wise and otherwise, was in the 80’s and after.
But he will not be doing so anytime soon other than talk of what it could have been.
Arrange for trials
Back in 1982, the central defender, while playing for Mombasa based Mwenge FC was spotted by scouts from Germany who promised that they would send him a ticket once they returned home for him to attend trials
“I was approached by scouts after a game for Mwenge. They informed me they liked how I played and that they would arrange for me to go for trials in Germany”
“After weeks, I was asked to report to the Lufthansa Airline offices where I found a return ticket ready. I was however quite confused and so I went to look for national the team coach (Marshall Mulwa) for advice”
“He said to me not to go for the trials as many other search opportunities would come my way sooner than later”
And guess what? Based on Mulwa’s advice he returned the ticket to the Lufthansa offices and that was it, he knocked the opportunity when the opportunity knocked for a chance to go to Germany
“To date, am not too sure if to regret or not. Back in the days, there was little incentives playing out of the country. Besides, most footballers were in it, not for the money, but for the love and passion of the game, he said to fostats.com
The promising Solomon was tapped early to the Mombasa Olympic Youth Centre, one of the many set up countrywide by West German Bernard Zgoll to narture talent across the country.
He appeared at the international scene in 1978 when he was named by Coach Jonathan Niva in the Kenya U17 squad that faced off with their Ethiopian counterparts in two games towards the 1980 World Youth Cup, which they lost 4-2 on aggregate.
Solomon played alongside keeper Ali Msada, Michael Jacob, Richard Baraza, Dick Anyanga, Ali Mwadumbo, Francis Kadenge, Ambrose Ayoyi, Sammy Taabu, George Odongo and Samuel Abida
In 1979 he joined top league side Mwenge FC but crossed over to rivals Bandari the next season. In 1980 he had moved up to the senior national team and in June made his debut when Kenya visited Zambia for a friendly at Dag Hammarskjold Stadium, Ndola.
In the game, the first for newly appointed Coach Marshal Mulwa, Solomon wore his first national colors after being introduced for defender Shadrack Oyando who picked an injury.
Over a year later he got his second – and last cap when he replaced Peter Otieno Bassanga, in Kenya’s 3-1 win over hosts Re-union, when Kenya attended – and won a four-nation Indian Ocean games tournament.
He stopped playing league football in 1990, after serving Bandari for ten years.
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