Chairman Laban Jobita has roped in every player coach Paul Ogai had enlisted in his list as they return to the top flight after a one year absence; the former Palos FC man has no excuses but to deliver.
Last Seasons position: Promoted
The demands of a Kenyan Premier League (KPL) coach can a times go overboard more so when their owners insist that they want results but that cannot be said of coach Ogai. Roped to replace Ugandan Richard Makumi towards the end of the National Super League (NSL) run in this year, Ogai transformative effect on a squad he entirely inherited can hardly be understated.
Ogai is a coach who is well conversant with the dynamics of Kisumu football; a terrain that has been hard for so many coaches to maneuver and he is roping in players who understands the terrain too but he should be careful.
The Baron Oketch Issue
After unsuccessful stints with Gor Mahia, Ulinzi Stars, Bandari FC and Ushuru FC, winger Baron Oketch returns with the hope that he can resurrect his career that saw him cause shockwaves with the team in the past years. There is a feeling that this is his last chance to redeem himself and the feeling might put pressure on the winger which in turn can work against the team.
Apart from Oketch, Ogai has brought in some Kenyan Premier League experienced players in striker Kennedy Otieno and defender Omumbo (all who had previously been with Stima) and his task now is to ensure the new players fire from the onset; anything else will just add more pressure to the team.
Ogai might feel that he has everyone on board but a reinforcement is needed in the creative front with the defensive midfield role perfectly covered with the presence of new recruit Edwin Omondi from Chemelil and James Ogada who was a key figure in their promotion juggernaut.
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With no past experience in the top flight, many feel Ogai might find the going tough in the KPL but one would point to Kariobangi Sharks head coach William Muluya as one who has gone against these thoughts. That cant be said on every other coach and the experience might count at the end of the day; it is a different league with a different demand.
The shadow of former coach Henry Omino who is the club’s technical director is another thing that should be solved. The directors in the Kenyan football language are ‘those who are strategically placed at clubs to step up once a coach has been shown the door’. These people mostly enjoy when their respective teams are on a downward trajectory knowing very well that work awaits after someone waves goodbye. All Jobita needs is to assure Ogai that he is the head coach and no one will interfere with what he strives to achieve with the team.
Stima should just do fine on their return back to the top flight but should address the issue of a section of their fans who feels disgruntled by how the chairman runs the show without their inclusion; you don’t want to host KPL games when a set of your own fans are rooting for your opponent.
Players In: Baron Oketch, Ian Otieno, Luke Ochieng, Martin Oduor, Henry Onyango, Anthony Obonyo, Vincent Omumbo, Kennedy Otieno, Samuel Olare, Vincent Odongo, Edwin Omondi