On Friday 3 May 2013, former Gor Mahia winger George Blackberry Odhiambo lifted the Armenia Premier League with his club Shirak FC after seeing off giants Pyunik 1-0 in an away tie played at the Hanrapetakan Stadium.
The slim win sent Shirak FC to an unassailable 84 points after 40 rounds of play, eight points clear of chasing Mika with two games left to the wrap of the season.
33 other Associations
With the league win, the first since the year 1999, Shirak FC is now guaranteed a place in the UEFA Champions league the next season; 2013/14.
According to UEFA, Champions from Armenia – Shirak in this case, will start the quest for Europe’s ultimate Club competition in the second round with Champions from 33 other Associations.
According to the calendar of events, the second round of qualifiers will be played on 16/17 July and the reverse games a week after.
Shirak last featured in the UEFA Champions League in the 2000/1 season after the winning the domestic league in 1999.
Back then, the team failed to go past the first qualifying round. The team fell 3-2 on aggregate to Belarusian side BATE Borisov.
With the Champions League beckoning, Blackberry who joined Shirak towards the end of February on a three year contract from Nairobi City Stars, is in line to become only the fourth Kenyan to feature in the prestigious European club competition after McDonald Mariga Wanyama, Dennis Oliech and Victor Mugubi Wanyama.
Player of the Year
Odhiambo, a former Thur Gem and Kamukunji High student was once at Danish side Randers FC and Tanzanian money bags Azam FC.
he was voted the 2009 Kenyan Premier League New Player of the Year, the 2009 Most Promising Male Award in the Sports of the Year Awards (SOYA) and ultimately he was crowned the KPL 2010 Player of the Year.