Cancelled trains and enforced bus rides failed to stop Eric Odhiambo from reporting for training with Torquay United, as the former Leicester City and Inverness Caledonian Thistle forward tries to resurrect his career in British football.
With transport links still hit after the weekend deluge, the trip from his home town of Oxford was nearly as problematic for Odhiambo as a flight home from Turkey, where he has been playing for Denizlispor for the past 18 months.
Odhiambo, 23, who can play on the wing or as a striker, is currently in dispute with Denizlispor, prompting United manager Martin Ling to say: “Eric isn’t a free agent yet, but I’ve known him for some time and it’s good for us to have a look at him and vice-versa.”
The younger brother of former Oxford United, Stevenage, Newport County and Gateshead defender Eddie Anaclet, Odhiambo has a decent pedigree, since he emerged from Leicester City’s Academy in 2007.
After a couple of League Cup appearances for the Foxes, he had loan spells with Southend United, Dundee United and Brentford before moving to Scotland on a two-year contract with Inverness.
Odhiambo helped Caley Thistle, under manager Terry Butcher, to win promotion to the Scottish Premier League and one of his 11 goals there was an equaliser against Rangers at Ibrox in 2010.
When his contract at Inverness ended in 2011, he opted for a move abroad and a three-year deal with Denizlispor, who have been trying to win back their place in the Turkish Super League.
Odhiambo has been a regular there, but he now appears to have split with the club and wants to rebuild his career here. The transfer window is closed until January, but clubs can sign players if they are free agents.
United’s squad managed to get a rare but welcome day’s training on grass at their Seale Hayne base yesterday. They are preparing to take on Dagenham and Redbridge at Plainmoor on Saturday, when most of their npower League Two rivals have a day off because of the second round of the FA Cup.
A new electronic big screen has been lifted into place, between Plainmoor’s Popular Side and the Babbacombe Away End. It is due to make its public ‘debut’ at the next home game against Northampton Town on December 15.