NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 11- Former Ulinzi Stars skipper Stephen Ocholla has urged the military side to win the GOtv Shield title as a dedication to ailing coach Robert Matano.
Ochollah, who joined the team from Thika United in 2009, has been away for the last eight months on military duty and speaking to Capital Sport from his base in Sudan, Ocholla believes his team mates have the ability to do it.
“These are the times I wish I was back with the team. The coach has done so much for us as players and the team. I only want to urge them to go on and win the Shield as well as the remaining matches of the league if not for themselves then for Matano,” the midfielder said.
“It is such a pity that he is not there to drive the team to the end of the season. I am sure he would have made some difference. But I trust the players and the coaches who are there to do the job. I might be miles away but I always follow up on how the team is doing,” he added.
Matano successfully underwent an abdominal surgery on Monday night at the Mater Hospital and is recuperating well.
He was taken ill just after the side returned from the East Africa Military Games and has been undergoing Kidney dialysis since then.
The Kenya Football Coaches Association (KEFOCA) last week conducted a fundraiser to boost the tactician’s medical bill, realizing Sh1.3mn which will go into ensuring the experienced Matano, christened ‘The Lion’ by friend and foe gets the best medical care.
“I am recuperating well after the surgery and I feel stronger,” Matano told Capital Sport.
“I want to wish the coach a quick recovery and I am praying he comes back to the pitch as soon as possible,” Ochollah added.
The midfielder led Ulinzi to their last two titles, the Kenyan Premier League crown in 2010 as well as the KPL Top Eight title in 2011 and he is confident they can break their five-year trophy drought and end up with a piece of silverware this term.
The 30-year-old hopes to be back with the side next season after completing his military assignment.