NAKURU, Kenya, June 22 – Ulinzi Stars forward Stephen Waruru has dedicated his April Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK)/SportPesa player of the month award to Kenya Defense Forces soldiers at the war front in Somalia, Southern Sudan and Sudan.
The pint-sized baby-faced assassin was voted April’s best player after scoring in every match for Ulinzi Stars that month and he was quick to remember his colleagues whom he served together with for close to a year and a half when he went off the team.
“Above all I want to dedicate this award to my fellow soldiers at the war front. They are forever remembered and we always pray for them. I also dedicate this to my teammates, the technical bench, my wife and kid. They have supported me so much,” the striker said after receiving his award at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on Thursday.
Waruru, the Kenyan Premier League top scorer has so far, scored eight goals in 11 matches for the military outfit and he already has his eyes cast on the golden boot at the end of the season.
“This award is a huge motivation for me and it will push me to work harder. I have a target at the end of the season and though I can’t say it openly on the number of goals I want to score, I promise that I will be among those chasing the golden boot,” he said.
His coach Benjamin Nyangweso heaped praise on the striker, saying he deserves the award.
“As a coach you feel happy when your players are recognized and it shows as a team there is something you are doing. I am really happy for Waruru because he deserves it. He has worked hard since coming back to the team and now he should work harder,” Nyangweso said
Waruru received a military-kind congratulatory parade from his teammates, marching slowly in the middle of two well crafted lines and saluting his bosses who were watching on the sides, cheering on as their man relished the moment.
“We are happy for Waruru having achieved this award. As a team we worked really hard and hopefully this season we get more of such awards. Last season we also had Makwatta (John) and this shows we are consistently working hard,” his captain James Saruni who was also among the final five nominees for the award said.
Waruru now hopes he can take on his goal scoring prowess into the domestic cup as Ulinzi, finalists in last season’s GOtv Shield start their 2017 journey away to Nairobi Regional League side Wajiji FC in Machakos on Sunday.