Struggling Sofapaka have made further changes to their technical bench by confirming the appointment of Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno as their permanent head coach ahead of the resumption of the FKF Premier League.
The 55-year-old Otieno, whose last stint was at KCB, will take charge of the team while Ezekiel Akwana, who has been working in an acting capacity since Batoto ba Mungu fired Burundian coach Francis Haringingo, will deputise. Another change in the team is the arrival of former Harambee Stars custodian Wilson Obungu as the team’s keeper trainer.
Meanwhile, veteran midfielder Humphrey Mieno will be the captain assisted by Roy Okal.
Confirming the latest changes, club president Elly Kalekwa said his main aim is to make sure that the team keeps their status in the top flight for next season.
“We have officially handed the coaching role to Otieno and we all know he has what it takes to take this great team forward,” said Kalekwa, adding: “I never struggled to settle on him (Otieno), we all know what he has achieved previously with Harambee Stars and even Gor Mahia, whom he took to the group stage of CAF Champions League.“
“He is a great coach and I have confidence in him, I know he will deliver what we need. As it stands, we need to stay up, we want to keep our status in the league, we don’t want to be relegated, and to be honest, I don’t think Sofapaka will go down, we want to start the New Year with a bang and I know it will be possible.”
On his part, Otieno welcomed his return to the dugout by saying: “It is a job that I take with both hands. I have always wanted to be part of the Sofapaka family and it is great now that I am here finally,” adding: “The work to keep Sofapaka in the league starts now and I know it will be a marathon.
“I am also happy to work under Kalekwa, I have always wanted to work for the team, and the chance has come now, so I will not look back. It will be my time to show what I can do to help them get what they want at the end of the season.”
Apart from playing for Harambee Stars, Otieno has also coached Sony Sugar and Posta Rangers. Sofapaka are currently sitting 17th on the 18-team table with 14 points from 16 matches. They have managed four wins, two draws, and suffered 10 defeats.