July 28, 2020 Patrick

Player retention excites Otieno

Nairobi City Stars players in a past NSL game in the 2019/20 season

Nairobi City Stars team coordinator Samson Otieno is excited by the fact that 18 players who led the team to Kenyan Premier League (KPL) promotion are still in the club’s books for next season.

According to Otieno, the number could be more should a few more of the out of contract players chose to remain in the team once discussions with the management conclude.

“The core unit that kept Simba wa Nairobi at the top of the NSL for a better part of the season to eventually promote the team is still intact heading to next season. This is important as it guarantees us continuity,” said Otieno

“When we started out last season a number of players were on one-year engagements but mid-way through we extended those contracts as the view to the Premier League became crystal clear. Just two teenagers – striker Vincent ‘Jamaica’ Otieno and midfielder Elvis Ojiambo started out with long term deals,”

“Part of the early players to extend their contracts were defender Wycliffe Otieno who added another year as well as midfielder Anthony Kimani, long serving defender Calvin Masawa, defensive mid Charles Otieno Oduro and striker Davis Agesa who committed to a further two years,”

“Others that followed in staying at City Stars for two more years include offensive mid Oliver Maloba, striker Ebrima Sanneh, defenders Salim ‘Shitu’ Abdalla and Edwin Buliba. Keeper Ronny Kagunzi and left back Wesley Onguso were the latest with each adding a year to their contracts,”

“January arrivals Peter Opiyo and Azizi Okaka have a season to go while keeper Jacob Osano, returning winger John Kamau and striker Ezekiel Odera have two more seasons,”

“We have some players whose contracts have since expired but the coach has hinted he’d still want to keep some of them for longer should they agree to. Noah Abich, Eric Ochieng, Tedian Esilaba, Kevin Okumu, David Gateri and Jimmy Bageya are some of those players. That will give us a much more close knit unit,”

“Despite having the core intact we are also in the market to fill up some positions such as in goal keeping after lead custodian Levis Opiyo officially left the club and just in case some of the out of contract players chose to head elsewhere,”

“Had the corona virus pandemic not struck, City Stars would have concluded its engagement with players for next season as far back as April.” summed Otieno

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