NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 29- Approximately 350km away from the capital city, Harambee Stars goalkeeper Patrick Matasi was laughing and kicking the travel bugs away as his new employers Tusker FC trained at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu ahead of Saturday’s league assignment against Vihiga United in Mumias.
Back at the city, Matasi’s former coach at Posta Rangers Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo is a man struggling to come to terms with the exit of the shot-stopper who has won the golden glove twice playing for the mailmen and has been a pillar of their performance.
“Losing a player such as Matasi is a huge blow for me. He has been one of the core figures in the team and it is quite hurting to see him go. Of course we wish him the best because as a coach you have to accept that a player has to look for a new challenge,” Omollo told Capital Sport.
“I know I can’t get such quality like his in this transfer window, but we will have to continue with the ones we have because they are also good keepers,” the coach opined.
The goalkeeper’s absence was visible when he was out with the national team earlier this month and an even bigger testament of his influence was last Tuesday when they suffered a massive 5-0 loss at the hands of Gor Mahia in Kisumu.
In that particular game, another pillar of the team Jockins Atudo suffered an early red card.
Posta have managed to acquire the services of former Muhoroni Youth, City Stars and Gor Mahia keeper Gradus Ochieng who will deputize Boniface Barasa. Martin Musalia has chosen to leave the club.
Omollo has pointed out that it has been difficult to hold on to some of the best players due to the club’s weak financial muscle. They were destined to sign keeper David Okello, an almost similar replacement to Matasi, but the custodian preferred a move to Mathare.
They were also set to sign Edwin Lavatsa from Tusker, but the striker preferred a move elsewhere, joining Wazito FC.
“We had an agreement with both of them (Okello and Lavatsa) and I knew that we would be signing them. However, there is some financial issue that came up and it proved difficult when someone else stepped in and gave them what they wanted,”
“But hopefully we get to sort out ourselves soon because football is about money. Without it, it is difficult to compete,” Omollo further added.
Posta will be at home against Zoo Kericho on Sunday at the Camp Toyoyo ground and without both Matasi and Atudo, Omollo hopes his charges can pick up from the ruins of two successive losses.
“Zoo is a tough team and we need to be at our best and ensure we get a good result. We have not performed well over the past few games and our positioning on the log is also not good,” Omollo admitted.
Only three points separate the two sides at 11th and 13th in the standings, Zoo keen to pick maximum points and drag themselves off the snare of relegation.
Zoo won the first leg 1-0 away in Kericho and the mailmen will be thirsty for revenge when they play in the blazing Toyoyo turf.