Western Stima Football Club is the beneficiary of one of Kisumu’s fast-rising talents in Ibrahim Ochieng, a central midfielder previously with Kisumu Hot Stars and Manyatta United. Ochieng, roped in on a three-year deal at the Kisumu Powermen, cannot wait to make his premier league debut. He says it has been a long term dream.
”I am very excited,” he says,” My dream though, was to ensure I played in the second tier or the premier league next season so getting a chance in the top flight is more than welcome. I can now focus on making my debut and developing my talent”
The 18-year-old has been part of Coach Salim Babu’s pre-season squad for over three weeks now, one he says has already opened his eyes to a lot he did not know. Training under the tutelage of Babu and his assistant Hesbone Nyabinge, Ochieng takes in as a much as he can.
”The training is great, it has built me in the ways I did not know. Also, I get to interact with more experienced players and that only boosts my knowledge of the top tier football,” says the youngster.
His former club, Kisumu Hot Stars will still have to play in the third tier FKF Div One next season after another lackluster campaign. Ochieng says he knows all too well what prevents most teams from giving their best in the divisions below.
”The main challenge is sponsorship, clubs find it hard to honor matches and sometimes when they do, players’ morale is already low. Otherwise, there is no doubt that a lot of talent is found in the lower divisions,” says the 2019 Chapa Dimba na Safaricom Nyanza Region MVP.
Ochieng turned out for Manyatta United in this year’s Chapa Dimba na Safaricom, winning the national title and making the All-Star team that headed to Spain for a 10-day camp. The experience here is the one that sprung him into the limelight he says.
”It may have been only ten days in Spain but that was a great experience. We learned a lot over there from the La Liga coaches. After winning the national title, many teams approached me so, many thanks to the tournament organizers,” he concludes.
The youngster is just one of the numerous youthful names roped in at Stima- a team synonymous with signing experienced players. Under Babu, youth in the way of Kelvin Wesonga (SoNy Sugar), Abdallah Chamberi (SoNy Sugar), Kennedy Onyango (SoNy Sugar), Juma Henry (Kariobangi Sharks), Fidel Origa (Kariobangi Sharks) and Amos Kigadi (Vihiga United) have been signed.
They open the 2019-20 Kenyan Premier League campaign against Kariobangi Sharks in Nairobi.