Charles 'Chale' Otieno getting closer to full recuperation after months of rehab
Charles 'Chale' Otieno getting closer to full recuperation after months of rehab

Work cut out for ‘Chale’ after debut topflight season

Defensive midfielder Charles Chale Otieno hopes to clock more premier league games next term after making his top flight bow in the just ended 2020/21 season. 

This is after he clocked ten of the 33 games in his debut premier season collecting 275 minutes in total.

Chale made his Premier League bow against Sofapaka in Wundanyi in match day nine after coming on for Erick Ombija to see off the final 13 minutes of the game.

To prepare him for his debut, Chale had made the bench on two occasions in match days six and eight against Wazito and Ulinzi Stars.

The games included two full games against Tusker and Gor Mahia towards the end of the first leg.

“The season was a good one though it had its ups and downs. But for all that we achieved we thank God for it,” started Chale who joined City Stars in 2017.

While appreciating the season, Chale has his work cut out – to grab more games next season.

“On a personal level, I wouldn’t say the season was the best; I played very few games and earned very few starts. I now aim for more in the coming season.” Summed Chale

Of his ten games, Chale started three and completed two, and was a substitute on seven occasions.

Calvin Masawa in a past game for Nairobi City Stars against Vihiga Bullets in Feb 2020 at Camp Toyoyo
Calvin Masawa in a past game for Nairobi City Stars against Vihiga Bullets in Feb 2020 at Camp Toyoyo

Calvin Masawa’s view on the 2020/21 Premier league season

The 2020/21 Kenyan Premier League concluded on Sunday 22 August 2021 with the 34th and final set of games ending a season that kicked off in late November 2020.

Overall Nairobi City Stars captain Calvin Apollo Masawa, at City Stars since joining in from Migori Youth back in 2011 – the longest serving player – was part of the Simba wa Nairobi squad that graced the league having returned to the topflight after four seasons in the lower tier.

Masawa was one of four players besides field captain Anthony Muki Kimani, Jimmy Bageya, Ezekiel Odera and Oliver Maloba who were making their second Premier League debuts having been part of the team that got relegated at the end of the 2016 season.

His view on the just ended season?

“The season was excellent given that we just got promoted from the second tier to KPL and finished seventh. That was a great achievement,”

“When we started the season, our sole aim was to survive relegation so anything beyond that was a bonus.

Not to be ignored by Masawa was playing the season in the midst of a the novel coronavirus season that cut short last season and delayed the current season by up to seven weeks.

“The season had so many challenges due to COVID-19 impact with all the restrictions, protocols and empty stadiums. Everything was never normal at all,”

“And to make it even more tough on us we lost our able Team Manager Mr Neville Pudo. May his soul rest in peace. That hit us hard being that he was a father figure to us. But we recollected ourselves and pushed on even harder,”

“The season was even more interesting being that every team was very competitive. It was full of surprises and very unpredictable since no team was guaranteed an easy win against any opponent, so that needed extra effort and a bit of luck for a team to win a match,”

“But with the financial support and motivation from our management, we were able to compete and even fought hard. It is our hope that next new season everything will be normal, and we are looking to better our seventh-place finish.” Concluded Masawa

The overall captain, gifted with power on both left and right feet, commands either fullback positions, as well as wings.

He featured in three games in the ended season but was a constant feature on the bench after being named 24 times.

Striker Erick Ombija on the ball against Ulinzi Stars during a matchday 25 Betking Premier League tie at the ASK Showground in Nakuru on Sat 10 Jul 2021. Nairobi City Stars won the game 2-0
Striker Erick Ombija on the ball against Ulinzi Stars during a matchday 25 Betking Premier League tie at the ASK Showground in Nakuru on Sat 10 Jul 2021. Nairobi City Stars won the game 2-0

Nairobi City Stars 2020/21 Premier League season in numbers

Nairobi City Stars returned to the Kenyan Premier, for the first time in four years, to feature in the 2020/21 topflight season.

Summed up, here’s Simba wa Nairobi’s season in numbers:

0 (zero)

  • Points collected from Wazito and KCB all season.
  • Number of goals scored from corners, and conceded

1

  • Number of goals scored by stopper Salim Shitu Abdallah during the first game of the second leg as City Stars whipped Sofapaka 3-0
  • Times Shitu was named Player of the Week; after round 18 game against Sofapaka. He was the only City Stars player to be named Player of the Week this season.
  • Points earned from Bidco United and outgoing champions Gor Mahia
  • Times Sven Yidah made it to the team of the week (round 5)

2

  • Goals scored by fullbacks Bolton Omwenga and Kevin Chumsy Okumu, as well as roving forwards Oliver Maloba and Rodgers Okuse Okumu
  • Penalties saved by keeper Stephen Njunge; against Nzoia Sugar in season opener and Kakamega Homeboyz in the second leg
  • Number of games Jimmy Bageya featured in during his sixth stint with the club. He exited in January
  • Points earned against Posta Rangers and Vihiga United

3

  • Number of MVP accolades earned by Kennedy Vidic Onyango
  • Starts by utility back Edwin Buliba. He completed two games on his debut Premier League season
  • Direct freekicks scored; by Peter Pinchez Opiyo (vs Ulinzi Stars) field skipper Anthony Muki Kimani (vs Tusker), Botlon Omwenga (vs Ulinzi Stars)
  • Times head coach Sanjin Alagic was named the coach of the week; after match days 18, 21 and 25
  • Points gathered from Kariobangi Sharks, AFC Leopards, Zoo FC, Mathare United, Kakamega Homeboyz and Sofapaka.
  • Most straight losses; match days 9-11 against Sofapaka (1-0), Kariobangi Sharks (2-1), Kakamega Homeboyz (2-0)

4

  • Goals scored by three of our strikers; Nicholas Kipkirui, Erick Ombija and Ezekiel Odera, as well as Muki
  • Number of MVP accolades earned by Muki, Shitu and Sven Yidah across the season. The second highest
  • Assists by Muki. Second highest
  • Times left-back Bolton Omwenga (rounds 18,20,25,29) and keeper Stephen Njunge (rounds 3, 13, 21, 28) made it to the team of the week
  • points scooped from eventual champions Tusker, Ulinzi Stars and Bandari

5

  • Times Peter Pinchez Opiyo was named MVP. The highest
  • Number of yellows collected by Pinchez, Shitu, Vidic, Chumsy and Muki
  • Number of 2-0 margin wins; vs Nzoia Sugar (H), Bandari (H), Mathare United (H), Ulinzi Stars (A)
  • Straight wins achieved at the start of the second leg. Was a new record never achieved in 12 previous premier league seasons between 2004 and, 2016.
  • Number of players who made their second premier league debut for City Stars; Maloba, Odera, overall team captain Calvin Masawa and Bageya – all of whom were part of the relegated team in 2016, as well as Muki who was returning to City Stars since 2009

6

  • Number of assists by bullish forward Davis Beast Agesa; one more than last season. The highest
  • Points collected in home and away games against Western Stima and Nzoia United
  • Teams City Stars met for the first time ever in the Premier League: Nzoia Sugar, Bidco United, Vihiga United, Zoo FC, Kariobangi Sharks and, Wazito.

7

  • Goals scores by Pinchez to emerge as the top scorer this season
  • Positional finish at the close of the season in the 17-team table
  • Number of games handled by John Amboko – the last set of games to season-end – after the exit of Sanjin Alagic due to expiry of his contract
  • Games earned by former Hakati striker Vincent Jamaica Otieno

8

  • Number of one-goal margin wins; 5 ended 2-1 [vs Zoo FC (H), Kariobangi Sharks (A), Western Stima (H), AFC Leopards (H) another three ended in 1-0 wins (vs Homeboyz (H), Nzoia Sugar (A), Tusker (A)]
  • Wins registered in 16 second leg games

9

  • Starts by teenager Timothy Noor Ouma aka Babu. He completed three games
  • Games completed by stopper Wycliffe Wiked Otieno and Davis Beast Agesa
  • Number of draws. Five ended as 1-1 [v Vihiga United (H), Posta Rangers (A), Ulinzi Stars (H), Bandari (A), Gor Mahia (H), and two each ended as 0-0 [vs Bidco United (A), Vihiga United (A)] and 2-2 [vs Tusker (H), Posta Rangers (H)]
  • Venues visited this season; Wundanyi-Taveta, Mbaraki-Mombasa, Moi Stadium-Kisumu, Bukhungu-Kakamega (once each), ASK Showground-Nakuru (twice), Narok Stadium (three times), Kasarani Annex and Utalii (seven times each) and Ruaraka (ten times)
  • Number of games City Stars failed to score; in five 1-0 losses to KCB (A), AFC Leopards (A), Sofapaka (A), Gor Mahia (A) and Wazito (A), and in 2-0 losses to Kakamega Homeboyz (A) & Mathare United (A), in 3-0 loss to KCB (H), 0-0 losses to Bidco United (A), Vihiga United (A)

11

  • Number of players that scored this season; Shitu, Omwenga, Chumsy (defenders), Sven, Maloba, Okuse, Pinchez, Muki (midfielders), Kipkirui, Ombija and Odera (strikers)
  • Clean sheets by keeper Stephen Njunge. The second best in the league
  • Starts earned by left back Herit Mungai. He completed nine
  • Games earned by striker Ebrima Sanneh who missed the first three months of the season due to ijury.

12

  • Number of players in the 30-man squad of the season that had no Premier League experience. 8 went on to make their bow
  • Wins amassed this season – two short of the tally of 14 – the highest ever in 13 premier league season achieved in the 2004/5.

15, 18 – number of times young keeper Elvis Ochoro and Jacob Osano, respectively, were named as reserves

22 – number of incomplete games by field skipper Muki. He started in 28 games but, as a tactic, exited in 21. He came on as a sub once.

24

  • Times Masawa stayed on the bench as a utility reserve. The most in the season
  • Times John Kamau was left out of the overall squad. he returned strongly to make the squad in the final six games of the season

25 – Average age of the squad that featured in the ended 2020/21 premier league season

29

  • Times Muki captained the team
  • Number of players used across the season

30 – Goals conceded this season: 3 freekicks (10%), 4 penalties (13.3%), 23 (76.7%) in open play

36 – Goals scored by 13 players. Distributed as follows; 1 own goal (2.8%), 3 freekicks (8.3%), 5 penalties (13.9%), 27 in open play (75%)

45 – Points amassed in the season from 12 wins and nine draws. Second best points haul since the 55 achieved over 38-games in the 2003-4 season

56 – Days apart from when City Stars played Tusker and Gor Mahia in match days 16 (20 Mar) and 17 (16 May). The long break was necessitated by coronavirus instigated lockdown

59 – number of bookings handed to players across the season; 56 yellow cards and 3 red cards

97% – Percentage of games earned by Vidic . He featured in 32 of 33 games only missing the one due to suspension. He clocked 2,868 minutes.

100% – Percentage of games earned by keeper Stephen Njunge. He featured in all 33 games – the only player to do so at City Stars – featuring in a record 2,970 minutes.

275 – Minutes clocked by defensive-mid Charles Chale Otieno across ten games on his debut season.

608 – Minutes clocked by roving winger Azizi Okaka in 12 games.

935 – Minutes clocked by teenager Timothy Noor Ouma, a Laiser Hill Alumnus, in 24 of 33 games on his debut season

1,012 – Minutes clocked by budding creative midfielder Elvis Noor Ojiambo across 25 games.

32,684-Cumulative minutes earned by 29 players in the season

500,000 (Kshs) – The bounty that was on the table had team finished in the top ten

Bolton Omwenga
Bolton Omwenga

Club statement: Bolton Omwenga

Nairobi City Stars has released left back Timothy Bolton Omwenga to join Tanzania Premiership side Kagera Sugar.

Bolton joined Simba wa Nairobi in February 2021 for a season and a half and was key to City Stars top ten premier league finish.

He featured in 22 games since onboarding City Stars completing 20 full games and a total of 2,000 minutes.

“We have reached an agreement with Kagera Sugar and therefore agreed to release him from his contract to allow him pursue a different challenge on the other side,”

“He was a very good servant and very key to our performance. Though we would have wished to keep him for longer, it was also important to allow him take up a good offer. He has our blessings to move on and we wish him the very best.” said club CEO Patrick Korir

On his part Bolton said;

“I have always said you don’t just join a football club, you join the family and long may that tradition continue,”

“My biggest thanks go to my family, The boss @jonathanjackson599, NSC staff, technical staff, teammates and the fans. We have had some fantastic times together,”

“Every single time I stepped out in that shirt I knew I was playing for the badge and for a very special club. My passion for this club will live on and I know you guys will go on to enjoy more success in the coming seasons. Focus remains,”.

“Goodbyes are hard to say. It was great working with each of you—you have truly made a lasting impact on me, and one that has changed me for the better in so many ways. I will miss you all very much.”

At City Stars, Bolton made his debut as a substitute in a 2-0 away loss to Kakamega Homeboyz in Bukhungu and went on to feature the rest of the games to the close of the season.

He scored twice with a long range shot against Mathare United, and freekick against Ulinzi Stars – in games where he eventually emerged the Most Valuable Player, and provided three assists in games against Sofapaka, AFC Leopards and Posta Rangers.

Beyond, the former Nzoia United, Kariobangi Sharks, KCB and Biashara United player (Tanzania), was named to the Premier League team of the week on four occasions at the close of rounds 18 (vs Sofapaka), 20 (vs Western Stima), 25 (vs Ulinzi Stars) and 29 (vs AFC Leopards).

Bolton, capped six times of Kenya, was recently recalled to the national team for 2022 World Cup qualifiers in September.

Bolton Omwenga

Bolton Omwenga vs Leopards’ Mugheni on 8 March 2021 at Kasarani Annex

Bolton Omwenga

Bolton Omwenga

Bolton Omwenga

Bolton Omwenga against Vihiga United on 21 July 2021 at the Nakuru ASK Showground

Nairobi City Stars striker Ezekiel Odera sandwiched by KCB players during the 34th and final FKF Premier League game at Narok Stadium Sun 22 Aug 2021. KCB won it 3-0
Nairobi City Stars striker Ezekiel Odera sandwiched by KCB players during the 34th and final FKF Premier League game at Narok Stadium Sun 22 Aug 2021. KCB won it 3-0

City Stars falls at the end

Nairobi City Stars wrapped the 2021 FKF Premier League with a 3-0 loss to KCB in a 34th round clash held at Narok Stadium on Sunday 22 August 2021.

The Bankers scored once in the first half and added two more from substitutes more in the second half to hand City Stars their heaviest defeat in the last two seasons.

From a corner, Dennis Odhiambo headed KCB’s first in the 34th minute for a 1-0 halftime lead.

Substitute Curtis Wekesa scored the second in the 70th minute, four minutes after he had come on for Michael Oduor.

With a minute to time, Victor Omondi, a substitute for Reagan Otieno at the half-hour mark, fired a ball low to the far corner to seal the win.

With the loss, and coupled with other season-ending results, City Stars dropped a spot to end the season placed seventh with 45 points.

KCB on their part finished a strong second with 62 points, three off champions Tusker who confirmed their 12th title since 1971 with a 2-1 win over Bidco United.

More to follow