Many players opt to go back to former clubs

By Gilbert Wandera: Thursday, January 11th 2018 at 11:52 GMT +3 | Football

Kenya Harambee Stars Calvin Odongo(R) and Van Dave Harmon of Liberia battle for ball possession during their International friendly at Kasarani Stadium on Tuesday 15/11/16. Kenya won 1-0.PHOTO [BONIFACE OKENDO]

East or West home is best so the saying goes. The current Kenyan Premier League (KPL) transfer window has proved this to be quite true with a number of players returning to their former clubs.

The reasons for returning range from either a desire to get more playing time or failure to renew contracts.

In this new KPL side Kariobangi Sharks lead the pack with four  players leaving the team to return to their former clubs.

Among the big names who have left Sharks is midfielder  Elli Asieche who returns to Sofapaka on a two year deal. Asieche opted out of Sharks despite having one year still remaining on his contract.

He started his KPL career at Sofapaka in 2011 where he stayed for two years before joining KCB.

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At the beginning of last season, youngster Calvin Odongo’s star was rising in a phenomenal manner.

Odongo who was then playing for Posta Rangers even managed to earn a call-up to the national team Harambee Stars. 

Then he joined Sharks and his form dipped significantly forcing him to return to Rangers where he has signed a three year contract and will be hoping to get more playing time and get his career back on its footing.

Ugandan Mathew Odongo has also returned to Tusker from Kariobangi Sharks despite playing a key role in helping the team finish third last season.

Odongo forced a loan move to Sharks in 2016 when the team was still in the Nationwide League and was initially reluctant to return back to Ruaraka citing his religious inclination considering that the team is sponsored by an alcohol manufacturing company.

Vihiga United have also resigned Michael Isabwa from Kariobangi Sharks. The player had little play time last season after suffering injury.

While he is disappointed for losing the players, Kariobangi Sharks coach William Muluya has challenged those remaining behind to step up.

“Ellie Asieche and Mathew Odongo got good offers and we could not stop them from leaving while Calvin Odongo wanted playing time. The former two were key for us and we will miss them. However, those who have remained must step up and fit in. This is a good opportunity for them,” he said.

Kakamega Homeboyz have lost Keiphas Mutuu Barasa who returns to Vihiga United after one season.  Barasa will be hoping to get more playing time at the newly promoted KPL side.

Gor Mahia have also released Anthony Mbugua to return back to his former club Liberty Professionals.

Gor Mahia Chief Executive Lodvick Aduda said the player had struggled to get playing time and therefore opted to return to Liberty Professionals.

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