The Star (Nairobi)

29 December 2012

Kenya: Odera in Thika

Kenya Commercial Bank striker Ezekiel Odera has joined Thika United. Odera replaces Moses Arita who left the Brookside Dairy sponsored outfit to join champions Tusker.

Thika coach John Kamau said the acquisition of Odera will fill the void left by Arita and expects Thika to be one of the title contenders next season.

"We were competing with Gor, AFC and Tusker last season but fell away in he final six seven game of the season and I expect us to have learnt our lessons and fight all the way until the end of the season" added Kamau.

Kamau said it was sad to see Arita go having nurtured the player for several years" We developed him, as a good player but he felt it was time in his career to look for a new club and we wish him well" added Kamau.

Kamau said Odera's prowess in goal will be crucial. "We know he did well at KCB scoring goals then went to Gor Mahia and struggled but from what I have seen of him of late he looks sharp and we want to see how he will fare with other players in the team.

Elsewhere Ulinzi Stars have refuted claims striker Wycliffe Ochomo is on his way out of the club. The giant striker had a mixed first season at the club after joining from Gor last season and has been reported to be on the verge of exiting the club, to Ulinzi's surprise.

"The reports on Ochomo leaving the club are surprising. He is still a player at this club and we have not heard from anyone regarding a move for his services.

"Unless something comes up, we have nothing to say on Ochomo, who we are keen to keep at the club for the new season, club administrator Cpt Joel Birgen said.

Meanwhile Ulinzi Stars defender Geofrey Kokoyo has praised the appointement of Salim Ali as the new coach of the club. Ali was named Ulinzi tactician on Christmas day, replacing Sammy Simiyu, who will serve as the former's assistant.

Kokoyo expressed confidence the former Sofapaka and Mathare tactician will galvanise the team to win the Kenya Premier League title next season.

"He is a very good coach who can inspire the team to win the league and inspire the players in the team for the upcoming season" added Kokoyo.

Kokoyo noted that having worked with some of the top clubs in the country Ali brings a wealth of experience to the club ' He has coached some of the big teams in the league and is very intelligent and I know he will push do well" added Kokoyo.

Kokoyo said the club can be competitive this season after failing to compete with the likes of Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards, and eventual champions Tusker.

"It was disappointing we started off poorly and we were not consistent but with the arrival of Ali we hope we can win the league," added Kokoyo. Ulinzi finished sixth in the standings, down from first and second in the 2010 and 2011 seasons respectively.

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