Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title hopeful Ulinzi Stars will miss five key players in the second leg, the club has confirmed.
Midfielder Elvis Nandwa is away for a military advancement course while Kelvin Thairu and George Omondi are off to the Recruits Training School in Eldoret. Brian Birgen and Boniface Okinyi will also leave the club in February for courses.
Nandwa joined Ulinzi five years ago from Mathare Youth and scored seven goals last season for the soldiers. He has featured 11 times for the soldiers this season. Omondi has been with the Nakuru-based outfit for the last three seasons and has started seven matches at centre back this term.
Ulinzi coach Benjamin Nyangweso said the exits are a huge loss for the team. The club will welcome Hamisi Abdala and Churchill Muloma who are making a return to the team after completion of their courses.
“Nandwa and Thairu play in the same position, so you see we will miss them, while George is a key man in our defence and his departure leaves us a bit thin," Nyangweso told the club’s portal.
"However, I want to look at this very positively; we will miss them but again these are crucial steps they are making in their career. Their growth in both football and the military is very key for us as a club and so we are happy for them, as we seek ways of coping without them.”
“Hamisi and Muloma are coming back, which is good for us, and Shambi (Ibrahim) has been working hard to cement his place in the team. He is very positive too and I believe we will be able to cope in light of the departures.”
Ulinzi Stars are currently fourth on the log with 34 points from 17 matches and take on table-toppers Tusker on Sunday at the Ruaraka Stadium.
Ulinzi beat Tusker 1-0 in the first leg in Nakuru.