NAIROBI, Kenya, July 1 – Harambee Stars keeper Duncan Ochieng and forward Kenneth Wendo are among notable stars who made the switch as the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) transfer window slammed shut on Tuesday.
Ochieng, 35, who was sidelined for three months in March with an arm fracture after colliding with AFC Leopards captain Martin Imbalambala, signed for his former club Tusker FC from Sofapaka on a paltry Sh30, 000 fee.
Wendo sealed a deal with Leopards after declining to extend his contract at Mathare United who are struggling in the league after managing four wins, five loses and six draws to sit 12th on the log on 17 points.
Champions Gor Mahia have brought in nine players to bolster their squad ahead of the second leg that kicks-off on Wednesday after the departure of holding midfielder Anthony Akumu to Khartoum National FC and wingers Timonah Wanyonyi to their arch rivals Leopards and Shaban Kenga who opted to go back to his former Bandari side.
Club’s Secretary General Chris Omondi, however, assured the Green Army the team is still strong and will defend their title despite financial challenges they are going through.
“Gor is a big club and we can never lack players even if the good ones leave. We have depth in all positions not mentioning our Under 19 players that we are nurturing.
“Our main goal is to develop young talents and people can see for themselves from the signings that we did so I urge our beloved fans to continue being loyal to the team and be patient since good results are on the way,” Omondi told Capital Sport.
K’Ogalo are also set to lose their top scorer Dan Sserunkuma after the Uganda Cranes forward was reported to go for trials at a Danish 1st Division side HB Koge.
Creative midfielder Kevin Omondi is on the verge of joining PSL side Moroka Swallows while attacking midfielder Rama Salim’s future at the club hangs in balance.
Gor have reinforced their squad by acquiring the services of Ugandan Arthur Ssemazzi from Lweza FC on a free transfer, Kennedy Opiyo from Nairobi Stima who is the most expensive player they acquired on Sh100, 000.
Simon Mburu from Super League side Posta Rangers FC, Thika United’s Charles Bruno, Collins Okoth who made a comeback to the team, On loan Timothy Otieno from JMJ Academy, Ian Niva Sydenham from Australia’s Park SC and midfielder Eric Ochieng who renewed his contract.
Apart from Wendo, Ingwe who were the second highest spenders after Sofapaka for capturing the signature of midfielder Humphrey Mieno from Batoto Ba Mungu on a Sh1.2m fee, saw left back Abdallah Juma and Michael Khamati renew their contracts with little known Godfrey Kegode joining the team from USIU.
Top 8 champions Tusker FC were expected not to go for many after having a depth in their squad that has seen them enjoy the better part of the first leg, managing to win eight, draw three and lose a similar to see them sit second on the log on three points behind leaders K’Ogalo with a game at hand.
Coach Francis Kimanzi went for Dennis Ng’ang’a from Nairobi City Stars and Festo Omukoto to join Ochieng in the Brewers who are seeking to reclaim their title that they last won in 2012.
Sofapaka were also not left behind despite coughing a whooping Sh2.15m on Burundian Fiston Abdoul from Lydia Ludic Academic by adding Mohamed Mumoud from Tanzania’s Simba FC, Geoffrey Muhando from KCB, Western Stima’s Batambuze Shafik, Rwandan Evarise Mutuyimana and defender George Owino who renewed his contract.
Other players who made a move include Roy Waiswa (Sony Sugar), Yusuf Juma (Sofapaka), Jimmy Bagaye (City Stars) all to Bandari, Ronny Kagunzi (All Stars) to Sony Sugar, Ezekiel Odera (KCB), Muhammed Hassan (Leopards) and George Opiyo (Tusker) all to KRA.
Two matches will be on the card on Wednesday where Tusker will travel to Nakuru to take on bottom placed Top Fry at Afraha Stadium while Leopards will host Western Stima at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium.
Both teams will be playing their pending round of 15 matches.