NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 2- Ulinzi Stars head coach Robert Matano eyes a comeback to the Kenyan football scene next season after spending the last three months off the touchline owing to a kidney ailment.
Speaking to Capital Sport, Matano said he feels stronger after undergoing intense medical care and hopes that by December he will have recovered full strength to allow him go back to what he loves doing best.
“I am still under medication though now I feel stronger. I can walk about but not for long and I can do so many things on my own. It has been an incredible process and I thank my doctors for what they have done to see me get here,” Matano, referred fondly by friend and foe as ‘The Lion’ said.
He adds; “I will bounce back stronger and in a big way. That’s all I can say. Basing on what the doctor will tell me by next month, I will be back on the touchline in February when the new season starts.”
Matano immediately went into medication after returning to the country from Kigali, Rwanda where he led Ulinzi to reclaim the East Africa Military Games title after losing it to the Rwandese last year in Kampala, Uganda.
He has been away from the team since and in his absence, they lost the final of the GOtv Shield to Tusker FC while their Premier League campaign went out in smoke by September. He believes things would have been different if he were around.
“I had so many plans for the second leg and it is quite unfortunate I wasn’t available. It was not something of my making but I am quite sure if I was around things would have been different. I am sad that the team is not in a good place on the table now but hopefully next season, we improve,” Matano who won the league with Sofapaka in 2009 and Tusker in 2012 added.
The tactician was present during the GOtv Shield final loss to Tusker, but could only watch from the stands as Allan Wanga’s goal broke the hearts of Ulinzi fans.
The tactician has also issued a heartfelt note of gratitude to the football community for their help during his ailment.
“It was such an honor for everybody from the team to fans, fellow coaches, KPL and FKF to come up and be with me when I needed help. I am not there yet and I still need their help but for all they did during that time, I want to say thank you,” the tactician added.
Matano’s contract with Ulinzi ends in December but the club is yet to put in a word on whether or not it will be extended.